"A new report released by climate and energy think tanks Carbon Tracker and
Ember Climate shows that the technical potential of wind and solar to power the
world is around 100 times greater than total electricity demand, with rapidly
increasing economic and physical capacity to take advantage of sun and wind to
fully remove fossil fuels from human society.
The report also finds that the land constraints on renewable energy growth are
far less than commonly stated. Harry Benham, report co-author and chairman of
thinktank Ember-Climate, said: “The world does not need to exploit its entire
renewable resource — just 1% is enough to replace all fossil fuel usage. Each
year we are fuelling the climate crisis by burning three million years of
fossilised sunshine in coal, oil and gas while we use just 0.01% of daily
Global energy consumption in 2019 was 65 petawatt hours, but the technological
potential to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity is 5,800 petawatt
hours, “as much power in a single year as could be generated by burning all
known fossil fuel reserves”.
By 2030, the report suggests that all solar and half of wind power is likely to
be economic compared with fossil fuel generation. The construction of enough
solar panels to meet the world’s total energy demand would comprise only 0.3%
of the land occupied by fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.
The stark disconnect between the current heavy reliance on fossil fuels despite
the significant over-abundance of wind and solar resources is highlighted
throughout the report, with a focus on the economic potential of wind and solar
to fully displace fossil fuels."
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics