How solar, wind and hydro could power the world, at lower cost

How solar, wind and hydro could power the world, at lower cost

RenewEconomy reports:

Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark have updated and expanded their analysis on how the world – well, at lest 139 countries – could be powered entirely by solar, wind and hydro resources.

The study, whose earlier version caused controversy and a strident critique by rival academics, now includes further modelling and a range of scenarios that include hydrogen storage, heat pumps and battery storage, the newly arrived technology du jour which is changing many assumptions about future energy markets.

Where this study – published this week in Renewable Energy – goes further than others is that it lays out three different methods of not just providing 100 per cent renewables for electricity, but also for heating and cooling, for transportation, and even agriculture, forestry and fishing.

In short, the Jacobson team is proposing to electrify the world, and doing it through three main renewable energy sources: solar, wind and hydro.

It says it can do this at a comparable cost, even slightly cheaper, than business as usual (fossil fuels), and at just one-quarter of the cost if you dial in savings from avoided fossil fuel damage to the environment and health. [Continue reading…]

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