“Based on our findings, there are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources,” said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering [at Stanford]. “It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will.”
Further, they say it can be done in 30-40 years by converting to fuel cells and electrical power, leaving the internal combustion engine behind. Power would come primarily from solar and wind, with hydroelectric being used to back up and smooth the power generation. They say that power from the world could be generated using 1.0% of the land and that most wind farms could be located offshore. Further, they say we already have all the resources, including rare metals, do this.
Hmmm. I question whether hydroelectric alone can smooth renewable energy sources. We need stored power for that, and on a massive, decentralized grid scale too. Also, such a transformation might be possible in highly industrialized nations, it’s questionable if this could happen in China, India, much less in poor Third World countries.
Still, their basic point is valid, given enough political and societal will, we could massively transform how we create and use energy.