One thing that has stood out in recent news is a study by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. He concluded that wind, solar, hydro powered grids, with energy storage, could meet all the demands for energy in the United States, without risks of blackouts in any region. That may be a surprising conclusion to many people, but Dr. Jacobson is a well-known and highly respected source for peer-reviewed studies on how to address the problem of climate change.
His study gives us a source we can cite to counter the many voices saying that we will never be able to end our dependence on fossil fuels absolutely. One of the problems we have countering such voices is that they speak from a position of what they regard as common sense, and the things some people regard as obviously true often turn out to be wrong.
Jacobson goes further than just saying we can end our use of oil, coal, gas, and nuclear power. He says that we can do it without risks of blackouts “in any region.” That is important because we do have risk of blackout from the huge power plants that are characteristic of the fossil age, and occasionally, they have hit us badly, with large areas of the country in blackout for extended periods. Dr. Jacobson is giving us hope for better things.
Readers who wish to learn more can visit the article, “Grid stability and 100% renewables,” at PV Magazine. (www.bit.ly/PVM-Grid-stability)