Can We Reach 100% Renewable Energy? Why Australia’s booming renewable energy 1 day ago   20:19

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Movements pushing for 100% renewables are gaining momentum. Stanford's Mark Z. Jacobson says we have the technology to get there

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Comments 226 Comments

Ehsan Khaibar
A very important discussion, as they say "There is no planet B", so we all need to take care of it very dearly.
Thanks for the Real Journalism.
pixie belcher
This is not all factual. Not possible at currrent technology. How are you flying planes on renewable energy? You are not. Don't drink this KoolAid. Note " no electricity use at certain times" Remember Solyndra = failure. 100% is not viable, ever. If you are serious, don't take it out on USA> Attack China, India, other countries. Saves no one money. lies.
Ryan Berkowitz
This man should head the EPA
Ronald Garrison
It's beginning to look as if the real urgency for converting to renewables is to stop the millions of deaths annually from air pollution, including indoor air pollution in places where there is little or no electricity. What everyone seems to be ignoring about CO2 is that it can be removed from the air. It will be expensive and take a hell of a lot of energy, but renewable energy is just what will make all that affordable. CO2 removal is feasible, AND it will be NECESSARY. Convert to renewables ASAP. Then remove the excess carbon. The really dire forecasts about CO2 assume no carbon removal. But we can do it. Convert to renewables A.S.A.P. Let's get rid of those particulates. I'm in favor of people having clean air to breathe.
Sedonascape
The sun can power 2 million earths.
peter
If nothing else, you could power long distance airplanes with hydrocarbon fuel that you _create_ out of energy and CO2 from the air. This could be biofuels or more directly, using the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_reaction and electricity.
(This could also answer part of the energy storage issue.. have more solar power than you need, and divert spare electricity to generating hydrocarbon fuel out of air and water)
Nolan
I hate how these renewable deals exclude all the options. Just because there are issues with some options does not mean that you cut research, subsidies and spending in them, which could make them safe, cost competitive and sustainable. Energy reclamation from waste and nuclear are excellent technologies, and even if current versions of their technologies may have hurdles or be expensive, it does not mean that this represents the ultimate potential of these technologies.

Also, creating more employment positions in the energy sector is actually a bad thing. More people in the energy sector means more expensive energy and a less competitive economy. The goal should instead be to reduce overall employment positions in this sector while providing reliable and clean energy.
Eric Kosak
This is the dream.
Replevideo
This is nonsense. Getting 100% carbon free using wind and solar power is impossible because both need back up, and that can only come from fossil fuels. Storage is not viable because of the cost. BTW the UK went days without coal because it has been replaced by gas. During that period there were 2 days when wind power supplied less than 1% of demand and still no coal was used, but gas was running at 60% and nuclear at 20%. The rest came from biomass, solar, and import from Europe. The only way to get 100% carbon free is to build a lot of new nuclear plants. An interesting recent study found that both California and Germany have already spent enough money on renewables to have got all their power from nuclear, yet both are still getting about 50% from fossil fuels. To eliminate fossil fuels from electricity generation you have to use a solution which works, and renewables have failed in that task in every country which has tried it.
MrThorneycroft
As others have pointed out in these comments, in order to get to 100% renewables we must first get rid of our lousy political systems which favour the status quo of reliance on fossil fuels and keeping rich corporations happy. Budah of Birmingham
IPCC SaysLessThan12Years
Mother Nature doesn't give a f**k whether or not you get to 100% renewables by 2045 or 2050.
She says you've got 12 years.
Boss Man
What is there not to like about changing to renewable's ? It creates jobs and it save massive amounts of money on health care and climate change related cost. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Haha. BTW, I just bought an electric car. Love driving PAST those $ sucking gasoline pumps.
HardWarUK
We can. But that's about 20% of what we need to do. For example: For every 1% in GDP growth you need 3% more energy. So with the always wanted 3% GDP growth you would have to add 10% more windmills, wave machines, nuclear power stations and solar panels every year!!! This would be unsustainable, so we need to cut consumption too and start forgetting about continual growth.
Tom Kelly
How can renewables be cheaper then any other energy type and therefore out compete other energy sources without the need for carbon taxes and further government investment in nuclear power?
kellyloganme
For those looking for an alternative perspective on all this green hippie nonsense: https://ufl.ae/videow/iyjFuHbJtDi
Irv Lennert
I think though, nuclear should also be included... There is no pollution and I am questioning any study that shows that much cancer for uranium miners (there are still many other options and new technologies) I'm for any energy that will stop societies use of fossil fuels...
Iain Reid
This is rose tinted glasses. We have had decades of trying very hard to make renewables work and they have proved to be an expensive failure. Solar is very peaky in output and is virtually useless in countries llike the U.K. in winter, low output and none when demand is greatest.
Wind is unstable and intermittent which causes problems for grids. It's achilles heel is it's cube law output relative to wind speed. The grid needs the inertia of large rotating turbo alternators to keep the frequency stable. The more the percentage of wind generation on the grid the harder it is to restart the grid in the event of a trip, ask South Australia, they have had lot's of experience.
this is not the way forward. The fact that these technologies do not work well has brought out ways to try and minimise their poor performance such as demand response, reduced demand from efficiency gains, batteries which can never solve the intermittency problem.
Usha Alexander
Interesting. But while Dr. Jacobson mentioned the dangers of uranium mining for nuclear power, he sidestepped the issues around lithium mining for batteries, even after Ms. Noor asked him directly about this. He also didn't mention anything about dealing with the mountains e-waste to be generated by accumulating defunct solar panels over the coming decades or other environmental costs of great swathes of land being given over to wind and solar farms, or waterways to hydropower dams. None of these technologies is 100% environmentally safe and free and infinitely renewable, when considered from end to end. Why is nuclear always singled out as the worst option among all of these imperfect options? The case is never clearly made for leaving it out of the mix of solutions.
Andrew Baker
I'm becoming increasing convinced that the new nuclear designs such as modular / molten salt reactors are even greener than 'renewable' energy.
https://ufl.ae/videow/ni8f8hOHBRC
Thomas Foreman
100 percent clean renewable energy independence.
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Why Australia’s booming renewable energy Can We Reach 100% Renewable Energy? 1 day ago   07:03

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The world’s current plan to slow global warming is the Paris agreement – signed by more than 170 countries in 2016.
Under that deal Australia pledged to reduce its emissions by 26 percent, of 2005 levels by 2030.
Most of Australia’s carbon emissions come from four areas of our economy – transport, industry, agriculture, and electricity.

Electricity makes up about 34 percent of our emissions… and they’re trending down. That’s because there’s been a decrease in gas and coal fired power… and a boom in renewables.
But now renewable projects are starting to hit hurdles.

Stephanie March investigates for Four Corners.

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