Initially, the cost was cited as arguably the primary barriers to switching from the so-called fossil-based sources of energy such as gas, oil and coal to environmentally-friendly sources such as geothermal wind and solar. However, this narrative has changed, and the current plummeting costs for renewable energy technologies have not only made the global energy transition possible but relatively affordable as well.
According to a particular roadmap designed by scientists, this breakthrough could see more than seventy percent of countries in the world including China, U.S and UK run entirely on renewable energy extracted from water, solar and the wind by 2050. These researchers also noted that this would potentially result in a number of benefits, including the reduction of the dangerous global warming, prevention of premature deaths of millions of people and the creation of at least twenty-four million jobs than were lost.
According to one scientist, the potential social benefits following this particular development are so many, and this only implies that the human society should speed up the transition to water, wind and solar energy.
The rooftop solar panels, as well as other major solar plants, onshore and offshore turbines, tidal schemes, HEP power plants, geothermal and wave energy, would also be used to replace fossil fuels. The energy generated from these eco-friendly sources would then be used to power vehicles and used in heating homes as well.
The United Kingdom is on the verge of publishing its own Emissions Reduction Scheme, a strategy that will outline how Britain will meet its global commitment regarding the fight against climate change to reduce emissions by 57% below 1990 levels, by 2030. It is imperative to note that even though Britain has made tremendous achievement regarding the reduction of its carbon footprint, its domestic heating and transport sectors remain somehow problematic.
As part of the plan to enhance its quality of air, the British government has declared that it will ban the sale of fossil-powered vehicles in 2040. Of course, it would be interesting to see how it would convince the people to switch from gas-central heating to either zero or low-carbon methods. The potential dangers of air pollution, global warming fears as well as energy-security issues worldwide mean that the world must immediately transform its energy infrastructure to a hundred percent clean and renewable energy with zero emissions.
According to a particular study, nearly four to seven million individuals die prematurely, on a yearly basis. Besides, hundreds of millions of people become ill as a result of air pollution thus leading to a massive amount of physical pains and sufferings. Fortunately, all these can be eliminated through a zero carbon-emission energy system.
It is critical to note that to avoid 1.5C warming since the pre-industrial period requires no less than an eighty percent conversion of the electricity infrastructure to zero carbon-emitting energy by 2030 and a hundred percent by 2050.
Finally, as the sources of fossil fuels continue to reduce with time and their costs continue to increase, it is possible that social, economic as well as political instability could develop. This implies that an alternative energy infrastructure must be put in place, and well ahead of time.
The roadmaps were designed for one hundred and thirty-nine nations for which the data regarding energy systems was available, out of a total of one hundred and ninety-five countries. The roadmaps describe a future in which all the sectors of energy are electrified or utilise heat directly with existing the technology; the power is derived from 100% wind, sunlight and water. Also, the roadmaps describe a future where the demand for power is relatively lower, because of numerous possible factors, the researchers said. The roadmaps are typically a proposal for an end-state mix of Wind, Water and Solar systems by nation and a timeframe to get there but not predictions of what might likely happen in future. According to the scientists, the roadmaps only depict how the prospect of switching to renewable energy sources could help solve the global climate change, combat air pollution and solve energy-deficiency problems. Professor Jacobson, who is the director of Stanford’s energy and atmosphere program, added that political leaders still needed to be reassured that the transition to a carbon-free economy would be fruitful.