The vision of a future powered by environment-friendly, renewable energy for some is deluged by fears of blackouts and intermittent electricity supplies. The fears are misplaced, according to a new study carried out by Stanford University. The study analyzes grid stability powered by renewable sources under multiple scenarios wherein water, wind, and solar resources provide electrical energy for 100% energy needs in the U.S.
The publication for the study appeared in renewable Energy. The paper reveals that energy systems powered by wind, water, and solar coupled with storage prevents blackout, decreases energy needs and consumer costs, and at the same time create millions of jobs, improve people’s health, and reduces land requirements.
First of its kind, the study examines grid stability in all grid regions and many individual states U.S. The analysis performed after electrifying all forms of energy and distributing energy that is only clean and renewable. This implies zero use of fossil fuels, direct air capture, carbon capture, bioenergy, blue hydrogen or nuclear power.
If all trucks and cars were powered with hydrogen fuel cells or electric motors, gas furnaces and water heaters were replaced electric heat pumps, and coal and natural gas power plants were replaced with wind turbines and solar panels.
The vision of the study is to comprehend these and many more transitions taking place across the transportation, buildings and industrial, and electricity sectors in 2050 and 2051. Meanwhile, the scenario appears to be more far-fetched that it is, say the coauthors of the study.
In fact, water, wind, and solar account for nearly 20% electricity in the U.S., and 15 states and territories along with more than 180 cities in the country have policies in place that practically require all-renewable electricity sector.