Renewables like wind and solar power have continued to expand at an enormous rate and have gotten significantly cheaper. Image: Imagine a world with so much renewable, clean energy that it could provide all the electricity society needed, reliably and without any interruption, round the clock. If UK researchers are correct, you shouldn’t need to imagine it. It could soon be a reality. A report by the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) says clean energy could now meet all our electricity needs, using only existing technology, at all times of the day, and all year round. The report draws on “scenarios” designed to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement , developed at the global, regional, national and sub-national scales. Scenarios, in the sense used in the report, are emissions reduction models describing possible futures in which society has managed to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. The report’s insistence that renewables can power the world is a challenge to earlier studies which have suggested that the obstacles to a fossil fuel-free economy remain for the moment insurmountable. The researchers assessed and mapped more than 130 of these scenarios, including 18 in-depth case studies. They draw on cutting-edge modelling […]

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