Stanford researcher determines global clean energy is within reach

Mark Z. JacobsonStanford News Service is reporting that a new study – co-authored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson and UC-Davis researcher Mark A. Delucchi – analyzed what is needed to convert the world’s energy supplies to clean and sustainable sources and determined that it can be done with today’s technology at costs roughly comparable to conventional energy.

“Based on our findings, there are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources,” said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will.”

The world they envision would run largely on electricity. Their plan calls for using wind, water and solar energy to generate power, with wind and solar power contributing 90 percent of the needed energy.

Geothermal and hydroelectric sources would each contribute about 4 percent in their plan (70 percent of the hydroelectric is already in place), with the remaining 2 percent from wave and tidal power.

“This really involves a large scale transformation,” Jacobsen said. “It would require an effort comparable to the Apollo moon project or constructing the interstate highway system.”

“But it is possible, without even having to go to new technologies,” he said.  “We really need to just decide collectively that this is the direction we want to head as a society.”

You can read the full article and see a related video on the Stanford News Service website.

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