Good News Tuesday! Great Weather this week and new study confirms 100% renewable world is possible.

You can check out my short live video I did this morning for the forecast.  It is a pretty easy! It will be sunny and hot today and tomorrow.  We might break 30 on Wednesday!

It will cloud over on Thursday and linger into Friday but there is no rain in the forecast for the entire week and we should be back to sun Friday/Saturday.

Not much else to say than that!

I also wanted to share a cool study I just read titled:

”Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems

As you might have guessed, this peer reviewed paper (auhored by scientists from Denmark, South Africa, Germany and Finland) is a response to a previous study on the feasibility of a 100% renewable electricity world. That study (available here) concluded that:

“efforts to date seem to have substantially underestimated the challenge and delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways.”

In other words, they concluded that studies claiming the world could de-carbonize its energy systems and go totally renewable by 2050 where overly optimistic.

This new study responds to that conclusion and picks apart some of the assumptions made in that critical paper and states:

The feasibility criteria chosen by the authors [of the critical study] are important, but are also easily addressed at low economic cost, while not affecting the main conclusions of the reviewed studies and certainly not affecting their technical feasibility. A more thorough review reveals that all of the issues have already been addressed in the engineering and modelling literature. Nuclear power, which the authors have evaluated positively elsewhere, faces other, genuine feasibility problems, such as the finiteness of uranium resources and a reliance on unproven technologies in the medium- to long-term. Energy systems based on renewables, on the other hand, are not only feasible, but already economically viable and decreasing in cost every year.

I have bolded the last paragraph.

Here is an informative graph from todays study that shows the immediate benefits from switching to renewables (solar, wind, hydro).

The study also addresses overall capacity of renewables, ie. can we generate enough electricity to satisfy world energy demand? Yes.

“reasonable global potentials for renewable energy could generate on average around 620 TW [3], which is a factor 30 higher than business-as-usual forecasts for average global end-use energy demand of 21 TW in 2050 [36].”

The Study addressed concerns about modelling the variability of solar and wind and makes the point that predicting hourly variations in output and demand are sufficient since gas turbine, hydro and battery backup systems can respond within minutes or even seconds to any variations more immediate than that.

The Study is very comprehensive and a very interesting read on how we will actually achieve a 100% renewable world despite the critics.

As the sun shines on us this morning, I will leave you with their full and hopeful, conclusions. Bold added for emphasis.

In ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’ [73] the authors called into question the feasibility of highly renewable scenarios. To assess a selection of relevant studies, they chose feasibility criteria that are im portant, but not critical for either the feasibility or viability of the studies. We have shown here that all the issues can be addressed at low economic cost. Worst-case, conservative technology choices (such as dispatchable capacity for the peak load, grid expansion and synchronous compensators for ancillary services) are not only technically feasible, but also have costs which are a magnitude smaller than the total system costs. More cost-effective solutions that use variable renewable generators intelligently are also available. The viability of these  solutions justifies the focus of many studies on reducing the main costs of bulk energy generation.

As a result, we conclude that the 100% renewable energy scenarios proposed in the literature are not just feasible, but also viable. As we demonstrated in Section 4.4, 100% renewable systems that meet the energy needs of all citizens at all times are cost-competitive with fossil-fuel-based systems, even before externalities such as global warming, water usage and environmental pollution are taken into account. The authors claim that a 100% renewable world will require a ‘re- invention’ of the power system; we have shown here that this claim is exaggerated: only a directed evolution of the current system is required to guarantee affordability, reliability and sustainability.

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