Scientific American published in this month’s issue an article on how the world could completely stop relying on fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear) by 2030 and use only solar, wind and water energies.
To make a long story short and after reading the various critics this is completely impossible. We can go low carbon, but not carbon neutral, especially without nuclear and in such a short period.
The authors believe it would cost $ 100 trillion, which is still to the Oil Drum vastly underestimated and that $200 trillion would be necessary, ie. $20 trillion per annum.
Knowing the lack of commitment to climate change mitigation by our elected representatives I believe such a plan has no chance to happen.
Another thing that struck me in the commentary aforementioned is the lack of efficiency and conservation measures, I wonder if the authors did anything on that.
Furthermore the article relies heavily on hydrogen, which is still not a working solution. As noted in the Oil Drum article, hydrogen for cars won’t happen before many years.
The full article is not available. However comments of these articles are. And many of them are objecting of the sheer possibility of this theory.
I instead recommend you reading the Oil Drum article as well as Sustainable Energy without the hot air. Here is a plan that may actually work, and not by 2030. 20 years to completely create a new society and wipe out nearly 90 percent of its energy sources is impossible.
I find it even more absurd as I previously wrote many times over how renewables are not perfect on why we still need nuclear. For more on that very topic, please check out this article.