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Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050 360

Posted by timothy
from the triumph-of-the-will dept.
thecarchik writes with news of an analysis published in Energy Policy by researchers from Stanford University and the University of California-Davis. "There are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources, said author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor, saying it is only a question of 'whether we have the societal and political will.' During this decade, the two 'fuels of the future' will be electricity and gasoline. Beyond that, we can't project."
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Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050

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  • by FauxPasIII (75900) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:35AM (#35241968)

    Right. If only we had some sort of giant fusion reactor constantly sending us more energy... but what would we CALL it ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:46AM (#35242012)

    What's especially interesting is looking at the rising food costs and population growth side-by-side with peak oil graphs [inteldaily.com].

    Is it really that interesting? My kitchen has fruit from Mexico, cheese from Ireland, beer from Europe and the rest - while in country - is shipped across a continent to get to me.

    Of course food prices will go hand in hand with rising energy costs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:48AM (#35242020)

    We'll just have China make all the composites and fabricate all the solar panels, mine and refine all the nickle and do all the other nasty work to make our 'clean' new 'renewable' energy system work. Install it here in the West and not talk about the contaminants and pollution we've exported to Asian kids.

    Yay 'green' energy. When we're done we'll congratulate ourselves and buff moral cred.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:55AM (#35242050)

    Isn't thinking like this exactly what got us into the environmental and energy problems we have now?

  • by HertzaHaeon (1164143) on Friday February 18, 2011 @06:02AM (#35242076) Homepage

    People can't stomach it because of the waste of life and resources, which in the end accomplishes nothing but the installation of another despot.

    The latest developments in the Middle East will hopefully be the final nail in the coffin of you war mongers.

  • Thorium (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JoeThoughtful (1945502) on Friday February 18, 2011 @06:17AM (#35242122)
    Or we could start building Thorium reactors next year and move past all talk about a looming energy crisis.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday February 18, 2011 @06:21AM (#35242138) Journal
    I'm trying to think of an example where a foreign invasion has resulted in installing a government that protects and encourages the freedom of the people involved. The only one that comes to mind is West Germany, and that took a lot of time and investment, and probably wouldn't have happened without the Russian threat. In contrast, I can think of dozens of examples where the new government has - at best - been differently bad, and often worse.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2011 @06:33AM (#35242192)

    Actually, in 1 hour the sun provides as much energy to the earth that humans consume in an entire year. So assuming we can harness it efficiently to and not have to cover the 10% of the surface of the earth is PV panels, this would not affect the biosphere. I'm guessing a solar eclipse reflects more energy away from earth than that.

  • Re:PR Puff Piece (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday February 18, 2011 @06:37AM (#35242210) Homepage

    Barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic.

    Not economic, eh? I suppose you can make any economic argument up and buttress it with facts and graphs and sell it to somebody, but if fails the sanity test. Even China who has the closest thing to a command economy on the planet is hell bent on running up coal and nuclear for the short term. We've barely started to bring 300 MW concentrated solar plants on line, much less create 50,000 of them, hydro is pretty much tapped out in most places and is a risky bet when you factor in climate change (hard to move the stupid things if rainfall predictions are wrong). Tidal and mwave are beta technologies at best and damned expensive ones at that. In the event that the authors of the study have missed it, we're in the midst of a generation changing recession with most of the first world countries who would putatively bankroll this non economic problem having major problems making next month's payroll.

    And even if the supposition is correct - even if it's 'only social and political' - how the hell do you plan on solving the most intractable issues that the human race has managed to come up with - that of getting along with each other? Politics is the art of the possible, not pixie dust and ponies (that's Steve Job's department).

    Some people really need to go outside sometimes.

  • by spydum (828400) on Friday February 18, 2011 @07:51AM (#35242430)

    Gasoline is not the only thing derived from petroleum resources.. You will still depend heavily on OPEC for all of your plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, and thousands of other uses. So OPEC will still continue to be pretty difficult to ignore.

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:13AM (#35242506) Homepage Journal

    Most of the war and the fights in the world that has lead to people suffering, also by hunger. Has been communism against democracy. And I don't know who to blame the most. To me it seems that the "Democratic" countries has done more damage than good. Look at vietnam, somalia etc etc.

    You don't know who to blame the most?

    Here's a clue: the Khmer Rouge murdered a million or two of their own people. And their numbers were vastly exceeded by the Soviets and the Red Chinese.

    Nothing the US or other democracies did can ever compare with the scope of genocides, atrocities, and mass starvations caused by communism in the 20th century.

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:24AM (#35242570) Homepage Journal

    >>We simply need to decrease the surplus population of ravenously resource-hungry bourgeoisie

    Yes, comrade! We must destroy the rapacious bourgeoisie that are breeding like rats and... oh, wait, what? All affluent countries are having problems with population *decreases* instead of exponential growth? Damn, I guess all you people stuck in the 1800s with Malthus are wrong, huh?

    The only people still undergoing large population expansions are the uneducated poor - and if you make the poor educated and wealthy, they magically stop having as many kids (well, it's maybe birth control instead of magic, but you get my point, comrade).

    >>What we really need is a Chinese-style one child policy, or better yet incentives for no children at all.

    Lord, you're just a walking stereotype of the tyrannical communist, aren't you? Weren't you supposed to have been purged back in the 40s alongside all your other fellow true believer Stalinists?

  • by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Friday February 18, 2011 @08:29AM (#35242596)

    Huh? HVDC does do 1000s of kilometres, these lines are in operation. Now geopolitically this isn't an option for a lot of the world (the EU for instance would need solar thermal power plants in Africa ... and Africa is a shithole). The US however has plenty of deserts with plenty of sundays per year to be able to supply itself at very high uptimes even with limited storage (say one or two days).

    If it had the will the US could be energy independent in a couple of decades ... but the powers that be don't want that, no country is allowed any sort of independence any more. It would set a bad example and might prevent the rise of our neofeudalist overlords.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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