More than 70% of the countries in the world -including India, the UK, US, China and other major economies -could run entirely on energy created by wind, water and solar by 2050, according to a road map developed by scientists.
And the scientists pointed out that doing so would not only mean the world avoids dangerous global warming, but also create about 24 million more jobs than were lost. Writing in the journal `Joule’, a team of researchers led by Professor Mark Jacobson of Stanford University , US, warned the stakes were high. “The seriousness of airpollution, climate, and energy-security problems worldwide requires a massive, virtually immediate transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure to 100% clean, renewable energy producing zero emissions,“ they said.
The road maps aim to convert energy systems for all purposes, including transporta tion, heatingcooling, industry, and agricultureforestry fishing. “For example, each year, four to seven million people die prematurely and hundreds of millions more become ill from air pollution, causing a massive amount of pain and suffering that can nearly be eliminated by a zero-emission energy system.
“Similarly , avoiding 1.5°C warming since pre-industrial times requires no less than an 80% conversion of the energy infrastructure to zero-emitting energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050… Lastly, as fossil-fuel supplies dwindle and their prices rise, economic, social, and political instability may ensue unless a replacement energy infrastructure is developed well ahead of time.“
The road maps were developed for 139 countries for which information about energy systems was available, out of the total of 195. “The road maps are not a prediction of what might happen.They are one proposal for an end-state mix of wind, water and sunlight (WWS) genera tors by country and a timeline to get there that we believe can largely solve the world’s climate-change, airpollution, and energy-security problems,“ they added.
Jacobson said political leaders needed reassurance that the transition to a zerocarbon economy would work.
Fellow researcher Mark Delucchi added: “It appears we can achieve the enormous social benefits of a zero-emission energy system at essentially no extra cost… Our findings suggest the benefits are so great we should accelerate the transition… as fast as possible, by retiring fossil-fuel systems early wherever we can.“ THE INDEPENDENT
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