Scientists have published a detailed roadmap for 139 countries’ transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, according to a recent study.
Energy experts from Stanford University report that the use of wind, solar, geothermal and water energy (hydroelectric, tidal and wave energy) to electrify all economic sectors that need energy to function, including the electricity grid, transportation , heating and cooling, industry and agro-industries. Forestry and Fisheries: They would dramatically reduce energy consumption, reduce deaths from air pollution, create millions of jobs, stabilize energy prices, and save trillions of dollars in health care and climate-related costs.
“We have individual plans for each of the 139 countries, and these account for more than 99 percent of all emissions worldwide,” Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University, told Live Science. . [Top 10 Crazy Environmental Ideas]
The study looked at the world’s energy needs, starting in 2012 and projecting through 2050. In 2012, the world used 12,105 terawatts of energy, equivalent to 12,105 trillion watts. By 2050, the world will need 20,604 terawatts if nothing changes and each country continues the same approach it currently uses to meet energy demand, the researchers write in the study.
But if those same business sectors turn to renewable energy sources to electrify all their energy requirements, the world would only need 11,804 terawatts to meet global energy requirements, according to the study. This is because electricity is more efficient than combustion, according to the researchers.
In a video explaining the main points of the study, Jacobson gave an example: In an electric car, he said, 80 to 82 percent of the electricity used goes into moving the car; The rest is lost as heat. On the other hand, in a gasoline car, only 17 to 20 percent of the energy in the fuel goes into moving the car and the rest is wasted as heat.
Energy is also required to extract, refine and transport fossil fuels. As such, switching to 100 percent renewable energy would eliminate these energy-consuming and environmentally destructive processes, the report’s author said.
Roadmap for the future
Jacobson and his colleagues demonstrated in their study how wind, hydro, geothermal and solar energy could meet global demand for 11,804 terawatts of energy and avoid an expected rise in global temperature of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above the pre-industrial levels by 2050. The researchers explain. How to do this would save the lives of 4 to 7 million people who would otherwise have died from diseases caused by air pollution, save more than $ 20 trillion in health and climate costs for countries, and increase net of more than 24 million long-term jobs. .