Imagine a world heated, brightened, and cooled entirely by nature's own resources: wind, water, and the sun.
According to 91 authors from 13 independent groups who wrote a combined 47 peer-reviewed research papers, this future is possible, and it's possible as early as 2050. The papers have been combined as one by Stanford University in California.
Thirty years until complete renewable energy
The world's massive demand for electricity and power could be met entirely thanks to the Earth's mighty sustainable energy trio: wind, water, and solar.
Virtually all the world’ electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as for industry, could be met by renewable energy by 2050.— Serge de Gheldere (@sergedg) February 20, 2020
This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers brought together by Stanford U. https://t.co/3X5Gj4MM0r
The 47 research papers that helped reach this conclusion had their own methods to prove this. Some looked at the world at large, adding together the potential for each technology to see whether or not broad regions or individual countries would have enough to survive on renewables alone.
Others focused on more specific locations, such as small island states, sub-Saharan Africa, and individual countries such as Germany. They then looked at which barriers in each area had to be overcome in order to use only renewable energy.
Ultimately, all papers reached the same conclusion: if the political will to achieve 100% renewable energy use was strong enough, the world could run entirely on renewables in just thirty years.
By moving to 100% renewable energy at all of our sites around the world, we're contributing to our ambition of zero net emissions by 2050. Learn more: https://t.co/HJzIFb3AYo#ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/h3TwEzJRbH— Nestlé (@Nestle) February 16, 2020
By grouping the countries of the world into 24 regions that cooperate on grid stability and storage solutions, supply could match demand by 2050-2052, relying 100% on renewable energy. Furthermore, overall energy usage would drop by 57.1%, costs would also decrease by a similar percentage, and to top it all off, around 28 million more long-term jobs could be created.
It seems like a no-brainer, however, it's never easy when it comes to politics, and that's the biggest hurdle to overcome in this instance.