November 28, 2021

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Wind And Solar Power Can Easily Meet Current Energy Demands Of Industrialized Nations

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During the first week of the COP26 climate summit, over 40 countries have pledged to give up coal within 2030. Coal is one of the largest sources of electricity in the world currently.

However, with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, the world is increasingly looking at a much warmer future. To limit global warming, and combat climate change, countries around the world need to immediately look for serious alternatives to fossil fuels.

Despite increasing investment and improving technologies over the last few decades, renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind power is nowhere near enough to meet the world’s energy demands, at least currently.

Critics of solar and wind energy have often stated that they wouldn’t be sufficiently able to generate enough power to replace fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

However, according to a new study by an international team of researchers from China’ Tsinghua University, the Carnegie Institution for Science and California Institute of Technology says otherwise.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers have revealed that most of the energy demands from industrialized nations around the world can be sufficiently met with a combination of solar and wind power.

However, the researchers say that additional effort will be required to completely satisfy the demands from countries. Currently, wind power is the most reliable source of renewable energy and is able to meet the current energy demands from industrialized countries some 72 to 91 percent of the time, without any form of storage capacity.

On the other hand, with the addition of energy storage capacities, solar power becomes the more dominant source, which can meet some 83 to 94 percent of the energy demands.

“Wind and solar could meet more than 80 percent of demand in many places without crazy amounts of storage or excess generating capacity, which is the critical point,” Steve Davis, co-author of the paper and a UCI professor said in a press release. “But depending on the country, there may be many multi-day periods throughout the year when some demand will need to be met by energy storage and other non-fossil energy sources in a zero-carbon future.”

Cover Image: Shutterstock

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