Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Can renewables power the world? (journal)

Substitutability of Electricity and Renewable Materials for Fossil Fuels in a Post-Carbon Economy

One way to avoid the risk of energy decline and climate change is to build a 100% renewable global energy mix. However, a globally electrified economy cannot grow above 12 electric terawatts. Can 12 TW of electricity and 1 TW of biomass fuel a future post-carbon economy? The principle economic processes can be replaced with sustainable alternatives based on electricity, charcoal, biogas and hydrogen. Furthermore, those services that cannot be replaced are not crucial. Even so, land transport and aviation are at the limit of what is sustainable, outdoor work should be reorganized, mineral production should be based on recycling, the petrochemical industry should shrink to its 1985 size, and agriculture may require organic farming methods.

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