Stanford Group Says Our Investment in 100% Renewables Will Pay Back Fast


Professor Jacobson’s Stanford group has now calculated the total cost of the global shift to 100% renewables, the returns on the investment we are making, and the payback. It’s incredibly fast! — because renewables are efficient and relatively inexpensive, and because climate change damages are piling up, with losses inceasingly uninsurable . The details are found in a new book scheduled to be published in 2024 by Rowman & Littlefield called Proven Climate Solutions – Leading Voices on How to Accelerate Change.

We need answers and rapid deployment. This new book features sections written by more than a dozen leading climate solutions experts including Jacobson, Bill McKibben, Dr. Nancy Ryan, and BF Nagy. Can we electrify all our buildings and transportation without crushing the grid or breaking the bank? Has anyone yet built a town that can survive huge storms and wildfires? Do heat pumps actually work? How green are electric vehicles? Do we need carbon capture, nuclear power and hydrogen? How is sewer water reducing emissions? What’s a virtual power plant and why does it matter? How will the circular economy function, specifically? This book answers these questions and dozens more. Watch for it in early 2024. Available everywhere.


FROM 2020

There are 8 countries in the world that are already at or very near 100% renewables, including Scotland, which reached about 97% in 2020. California is frequently hitting 80% or more, and Germany the world’s fourth biggest economy, generated more than 46% of its power from renewables for the entire year, also in 2020.

Professor Mark Jacobson is a renowned climate scientist who has been studying how states and countries can move to 100% clean renewable power in the coming years. His new book 100% CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND STORAGE FOR EVERYTHING synthesizes years of his climate solutions research work. Mark and his Stanford team, sometimes in collaboration with Mark Delucci’s group at at Berkeley, continuously monitor worldwide developments. Jacobson leads some of the brightest energy minds on the planet, who have developed specific planning pathways to 100% renewables for more than 140 countries and for all 50 states. They also helped with some of the policy work supporting the Green New Deal in the USA.

The team regularly calls out greenwashing and technically or economically weak technologies like hydrogen, whose role in the clean energy age is sometimes overblown; or biomass, biofuels, carbon capture & sequestration, gas and nuclear, all of which ultimately will disappear from the energy landscape.

Jacobson notes that it is important to clarify what will survive, because weak technologies siphon investment away from effective solutions like solar, wind power, energy storage, electric vehicles, heat pumps; hydro, wave or tidal power, and efficiency. Kudos to Mark Jacobson and his colleagues at Stanford, important research scientists in our clean energy transition.

I highly recommend Professor Jacobson’s new book and also his online course which I found very valuable. Any layperson can understand most of it, although I was not equipped to fully understand a section that included some complex algebra. Everybody can understand what 100% clean renewable energy and storage for everything means, and Professor Jacobson offers credible research showing exactly how it is possible.

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