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On 100% Renewable Energy - The Only Way Forward

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Thanks for all your constructive comments. Here some thoughts on that:

@Steven: I agree that the current energy system is not simply adaptable to RE technology. But I disagree on the fact that it is a technical/ mechanical problem. Converting our energy system is about more than replacing fossil fuel with sun and wind as new energy sources. Our current fossil fuel based energy system is characterized by complex centralized infrastructures where a) the fuel is transported to the plant and b) energy production and distribution is in one hand. The supply chain is vertical and the benefits are shared only among a few stakeholders. By nature, renewable energy technology is decentralised, has a horizontal supply chain and requires a completely different infrastructure and market. New ownership models are needed, as different stakeholders are directly involved in this transformation.

@AggieEngineer: Scientific evidences show that new renewables are ready for a 100% scenario. Marc Z. Jacobson, Professor of civil and environmental engineering at Standford University showed how that is even possible globally by 2030. Here some results:

  • The authors’ plan calls for 3.8 million large wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants, and numerous geothermal, tidal and rooftop photovoltaic installations worldwide.
  • The cost of generating and transmitting power would be less than the projected cost per kilowatt-hour for fossil-fuel and nuclear power.
  • Shortages of a few specialty materials, along with lack of political will, loom as the greatest obstacles.

(Download the report here)

@John Miller: thanks for clarifying this. I am aware of the fact that there are still major challenges and obstacles also in Germany and Denmark before we actually reached 100% RE. However, it is important to also point out successes and best policy approaches which brought countries, regions and cities on the right track.

January 9, 2013    View Comment