Researchers say that if we really wanted to do this, by 2050 almost three quarters of the world’s countries could fully switch to the use of renewable energy sources. Such conclusions were made within the framework of a large analytical project to compile a global roadmap until 2050.
In it, scientists describe how by this time mankind can move to a totally free from harmful emissions future, create millions of new jobs, save trillions of dollars spent on health and climate protection projects, and help keep our planet from global warming.
The calculations, carried out by a group of nearly 30 experts, are based on an assessment of the capabilities of 139 countries in the transition to 100% use of wind, water and solar energy for the next little more than three decades. Such a large-scale change in the energy infrastructure goes far beyond the level for which the Paris Agreement (COP21) is addressing climate issues, but researchers say there are compelling reasons for the transition to renewable energy sources to take place sooner rather than later.
“The work shows that the level of benefits that we get is so great that we have to make a transition to wind, water and solar energy as soon as possible,” says Mark Delucci from the University of California, one of the participants in the study.
This will not only create new jobs in the renewable energy industry (the expected growth is 24 million jobs), but will also increase our health, which definitely suffers from processing, use of fossil fuels, as well as the pollution created by them. According to forecasts, the death rate due to air pollution will also decrease by 4.6 million people annually. But, perhaps most important in this, if you look at the issue in the long-term perspective, is that the transition to renewable energy sources will slow down the growth of the average temperature on the planet.
This study, but in its initial form, was presented at the Paris Summit in 2015. The project manager is Mark Jakobson from Stanford University.
“The most impressive result of this study is that each country that we studied has enough resources to self-sustain,” Jakobson told IEEE Spectrum.
“True, in a few cases, when it was a question of small countries, but with a dense population, it may be necessary to import energy from neighboring countries. As an alternative, it will be possible to use an increased amount of energy extracted from the shorelines. ”
Large countries have large areas of land and, consequently, have greater flexibility in the choice of suitable sites for the construction of extraction stations – solar, wind or sea. Despite the fact that the creation of a roadmap for 139 countries is in itself a very ambitious initiative, the researchers do not plan to dwell on it.
“Next, we plan to develop road maps for each individual city, which will indicate how it will be possible to ensure a 100 per cent transition to renewable energy sources,” added Jakobson.
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