We don’t need nuclear power, coal, or biofuels. We can get 100 percent of our energy from wind, water, and solar (WWS) power. And we can do it today—efficiently, reliably, safely, sustainably, and economically.
We can get to this WWS world by simply building a lot of new systems for the production, transmission, and use of energy. One scenario that Stanford engineering professor Mark Jacobson and I developed, projecting to 2030, includes:
- 3.8 million wind turbines, 5 megawatts each, supplying 50 percent of the projected total global power demand
- 49 000 solar thermal power plants, 300 MW each, supplying 20 percent
- 40 000 solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants supplying 14 percent
- 1.7 billion rooftop PV systems, 3 kilowatts each, supplying 6 percent
- 5350 geothermal power plants, 100 MW each, supplying 4 percent
- 900 hydroelectric power plants, 1300 MW each, of which 70 percent are already in place, supplying 4 percent
- 720 000 ocean-wave devices, 0.75 MW each, supplying 1 percent
- 490 000 tidal turbines, 1 MW each, supplying 1 percent.
We also need to greatly expand the transmission infrastructure in order to create the large supergrids that will span many regions and often several countries and even continents. And we need to expand production of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, ships that run on hydrogen fuel cell and battery combinations, liquefied hydrogen aircraft, air- and ground-source heat pumps, electric resistance heating, and hydrogen for high-temperature processes.
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