About Us

How to move to 100 percent renewables by 2030

Feb 13, 2011 - Andrew Restuccia -thehill.com

What would it take to switch the world’s entire energy infrastructure to renewables like wind and solar by 2030?

According to National Geographic, about 4 million massive wind turbines, 90,000 solar plants and a four-fold increase in production of a rare earth metal that is a major component of key renewable energy technologies.

The magazine outlined the findings of new research on the question of transitioning to an all-renewable energy economy by 2030 as part of its energy policy series.

Mark Delucchi and Mark Jacobson, professors at the University of California-Davis and Stanford University, have developed a roadmap of sorts for moving away from coal and oil.

The roadmap is largely theoretical; U.S. lawmakers are struggling to pass legislation that would require 20 percent of the country’s electricity to come from renewable sources, and efforts to pass a broad climate bill have collapsed. But the team’s research has provided one of the first pictures of exactly what it might take to rely fully on renewable energy.

Despite the hurdles, they say it’s possible. "Technically you can do it. It really depends on will power,” Jacobson told National Geographic.

But "will power," as Jacobson put it, may prove tricky to find this year in the United States. The report comes as Congress is struggling to address a variety of important energy issues and the renewable industry says it is struggling to grow without consistent policies.

At the same time, U.S. lawmakers are growing increasingly worried about the role China is playing in clean-energy technology. The issue is expected to be a major topic of discussion during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the White House this week.

The article has been corrected to indicate that the study focused on the entire world's energy infrastructure.

Technical Articles - index of technical articles related to GENI's vision. Includes: articles written by GENI and about GENI concerning the proof of concept and some industry reports relating to the GENI vision