Numerous Benefits of 100% Clean, Renewable Energy
An excellent new paper by Mark Jacobson et al. describes 100% clean and renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for 53 towns and cities in North America.
In the video below, Mark Jacobson discusses the ‘Path to a 100% Renewable World’.
Clean and renewable energy is not only cheaper, it also avoids health and climate damage many times greater than those savings.
Additionally, clean and renewable energy provides more long-term full-time jobs, provides more robust and stable energy and provides greater energy safety and security, all with less need for land and water.
Furthermore, clean and renewable energy avoids costs of insurance against nuclear accidents, avoids conflicts over fossil fuel resources, avoids pollution of oceans, soil and groundwater and avoids infrastructure for transport of drilling & mining equipment and fuel.
Reductions in mining, drilling and fracking can also avoid falls in land values, with benefits for land owners and for councils in terms of greater rates revenues.
As described in the earlier post 100% clean, renewable energy is cheaper, the price of fuel looks set to go up over time due to decreasing economies of scale for fuel, while the price of clean, renewable energy looks set to keep coming down, in line with ongoing innovation, efficiency improvements and economies of scale. Examples are induction cooking, batteries, heat pumps, LED lights, refrigeration and smelters.
The transition to clean & renewable energy will avoid a lot of energy, time and money spent on planning, constructing and maintaining the ports, railways, pipelines and supply of water for cooling that is needed to keep conventional power plants going. The savings in efficiency are huge, as illustrated by the image below, the total demand reduction is 57.9% of what the demand would be if business were to continue as usual (BAU).
Many of the costs associated with fossil fuel are currently not incorporated in its price. Continued emissions would drive the world further in debt, due to rising costs of health care, removal of carbon dioxide, etc.
There is also the price of conflict. As an example, fossil fuel adds to the cost of conflict over resources and securing of fuel transport. A 2017 report puts the cost of U.S. military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan over the period FY2001-FY2018 at $5.6 trillion, or $23,386 for the average taxpayer. The report adds that, unlike past US wars, these wars have been paid for largely through borrowing. The $5.6 trillion includes the interest the US has already paid on this debt, but it does not include projected future interest. Even if the US stopped spending money on these wars right now, cumulated interest costs on borrowing will ultimately add more than $7.9 trillion to the national debt over the next several decades.
Sam Carana’s Climate Plan suggests that local feebates can most effectively and rapidly achieve the necessary transition to clean & renewable energy. As an example, fees can be imposed on sales of fuel, with the revenues used to fund rebates on local supply of clean & renewable energy. Another example is to impose fees on registration of vehicles with internal combustion engines, with the revenues used to fund rebates on registration of battery-electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Local feebates can best help areas each get their preferred mix (of local supply/storage, of grid interconnection and imports/exports of electricity, and of demand response).
• Climate Plan
• 100% clean and renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for 53 towns and cities in North America, by Mark Jacobson et al.
• 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World, by Mark Jacobson et al.
• Matching demand with supply at low cost in 139 countries among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes, by Mark Jacobson et al.