Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part I: Technologies, energy resources, quantities and areas of infrastructure, and materials
Climate change, pollution, and energy insecurity are among the greatest problems of our time. Addressing them requires major changes in our energy infrastructure. Here, we analyze the feasibility of providing worldwide energy for all purposes (electric power, transportation, heating/cooling, etc.) from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). In Part I, we discuss WWS energy system characteristics, current and future energy demand, availability of WWS resources, numbers of WWS devices, and area and material requirements. In Part II, we address variability, economics, and policy of WWS energy. We estimate that ~3,800,000 5Â MW wind turbines, ~49,000 300Â MW concentrated solar plants, ~40,000 300Â MW solar PV power plants, ~1.7 billion 3Â kW rooftop PV systems, ~5350 100Â MW geothermal power plants, ~270 new 1300Â MW hydroelectric power plants, ~720,000 0.75Â MW wave devices, and ~490,000 1Â MW tidal turbines can power a 2030 WWS world that uses electricity and electrolytic hydrogen for all purposes. Such a WWS infrastructure reduces world power demand by 30% and requires only ~0.41% and ~0.59% more of the world's land for footprint and spacing, respectively. We suggest producing all new energy with WWS by 2030 and replacing the pre-existing energy by 2050. Barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic. The energy cost in a WWS world should be similar to that today.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Watts, Charmaine, 2009. "Going Completely Renewable: Is It Possible (Let Alone Desirable)?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 95-111, May.
- Grubler, Arnulf, 2010. "The costs of the French nuclear scale-up: A case of negative learning by doing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 5174-5188, September.
- Fthenakis, Vasilis M. & Kim, Hyung Chul, 2007. "Greenhouse-gas emissions from solar electric- and nuclear power: A life-cycle study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2549-2557, April.
- Harding, Jim, 2007. "Economics of Nuclear Power and Proliferation Risks in a Carbon-Constrained World," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 65-76, December.
- Adamantiades, A. & Kessides, I., 2009. "Nuclear power for sustainable development: Current status and future prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5149-5166, December.
- Koomey, Jonathan & Hultman, Nathan E., 2007. "A reactor-level analysis of busbar costs for US nuclear plants, 1970-2005," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5630-5642, November.
- Dvorak, Michael J. & Archer, Cristina L. & Jacobson, Mark Z., 2010. "California offshore wind energy potential," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1244-1254.
- Weisser, Daniel, 2007. "A guide to life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric supply technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1543-1559.
- Tokimatsu, Koji & Fujino, Jun'ichi & Konishi, Satoshi & Ogawa, Yuichi & Yamaji, Kenji, 2003. "Role of nuclear fusion in future energy systems and the environment under future uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 775-797, June.
- Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2008. "Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2940-2953, August.
- Magdalena R. V. Sta. Maria & Mark Z. Jacobson, 2009. "Investigating the Effect of Large Wind Farms on Energy in the Atmosphere," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 816, September.
- Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Sovacool, Kelly E., 2009. "Identifying future electricity-water tradeoffs in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2763-2773, July.
- Hammond, Geoffrey P., 1996. "Nuclear energy into the twenty-first century," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 327-344, August.
- Yang, Chi-Jen, 2009. "An impending platinum crisis and its implications for the future of the automobile," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1805-1808, May.
- O Rourke, Fergal & Boyle, Fergal & Reynolds, Anthony, 2010. "Tidal energy update 2009," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 398-409, February.
- Kessides, Ioannis N., 2010. "Nuclear power: Understanding the economic risks and uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 3849-3864, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:1154-1169. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.