Next time you hear someone - perhaps from the fossil fuel industry - argue that it's not feasible to transition the entire world to 100% clean energy in a relatively short time frame (e.g., by the middle of the 21st century), you now can point them to the voluminous, detailed new report by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and 26 other energy experts. Here are a few highlights from the report, "100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World," as well as a few graphics that demonstrate how a 100% clean energy transition could be achieved in the world's top energy-consuming countries.
- 100% clean energy by 2050 would save lives and avoid massive air pollution damage costs. Following the blueprint laid out in this report could avoid an estimated 4.6 million premature air-pollution mortalities/year today and 3.5 million/year in 2050, "which along with non-mortality impacts, avoids ~$23 ($4.1– $69) trillion/year in 2050 air-pollution damage costs."
- Switching to 100% clean energy by 2050 also would "avoid ~$28.5 ($16.1–60.7) trillion/year in 2050 global-warming costs (2013 USD)" and "avoid a total health plus climate cost of ~28.5 (11.2–72) ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy, or $5,800/year per person, over 139 countries."
- 100% clean energy would save people money and create jobs. Far from costing people more money, the path outlined in this report would "save ~$85/person/year in [Business as Usual (BAU)]-electricity-sector fuel costs" while "creat[ing] ~24.3 million net new permanent, full-time jobs" and "stabiliz[ing] energy prices."
- To accomplish all this would require the use of "minimal new land (0.22% of 139-country land for new footprint and 0.92% for new spacing)," while "increas[ing] access to distributed energy by up to 4 billion people worldwide currently in energy poverty."
- It would also make the world power supply more secure: The path laid out in this report would "decentralize much of the world power supply, thereby reducing the risk of large-scale system disruptions due to machinery breakdown or physical terrorism (but not necessarily due to cyber attack)."
- It would help stave off disastrous global warming impacts. "[T]he aggressive worldwide conversion to WWS proposed here may help avoid global temperature rising more than 1.5C since 1870."
- Last but not least, it is highly feasible. "While social and political barriers exist, converting to 100% WWS using existing technologies is technically and economically feasible. Reducing the barriers requires disseminating information to make people aware about what is possible, effective policies...and individuals taking actions to transition their own homes and lives."