100 Percent Renewable Energy is Possible by 2030

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Despite the "green" movement that has taken over the country in the last few years, more than 80 percent of the world's energy supply still comes from fossil fuels. Solar panels and wind turbines haven't been able to make much of a dent in coal and petroleum's dominance. But a new two-part study published in the journal Energy Policy (part 1, part 2) claims it's possible and affordable for the world to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

The renewable sources of energy the researchers' calculations focused on included wind power, solar power, waves and geothermal energy, even as some question if solar power is worth the expense. According to PhysOrg, achieving 100 percent clean energy would require building about 4 million 5-megawatt wind turbines, 1.7 billion 3-kilowatt roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, and around 90,000 300-megawatt solar power plants.

This study is the work of Mark Delucchi of the University of California, Davis, and Mark Jacobson at Stanford University. 

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The study's authors made some optimistic predictions that would be necessary for the world's energy supply to be completely dependent on renewable energy by 2030. For instance, the wind turbines (all 4 million of them, and not just the ones offshore) would need to have two to three times the capacity most of them have. But a handful of countries already have 5 MW turbines in operation, the size that is required in this study to make renewable energy dependence feasible.

With so many new Republicans on Capitol Hill who don't believe in the science of climate change (which will continue until the year 3000), not to mention many members of the public, it may be a challenge to achieve such a task and get off fossil fuels.

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So, what do you think? Is it possible for America to embrace energy independence and get off fossil fuels completely by 2030, or will it take longer? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo: Amy Guip/Getty Images

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