Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?


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Can this momentum -- and the civilization it supports -- really continue by relying solely on renewable power sources such as sunshine and wind?

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Why Renewable Energy Will Replace Fossil Fuels

Indeed, it's one thing to supplement energy production with renewable sources, quite another to replace fossil fuels entirely. In , fossil fuels accounted for nearly 72 percent of the United States' electric power production, while hydroelectric power supplied only 5. Those are daunting numbers, especially when you factor in Energy Information Administration estimations that fossil fuels and uranium will still provide 85 percent of the nation's electricity in But just as it would be unreasonable to think renewable sources could take the reins now, it's equally unreasonable to think they can't eventually facilitate an end to fossil fuel dependency.

There's only so much oil and coal in the Earth, after all, and global warming concerns only punctuate the need for a new direction.

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No one is arguing that a solar-powered bra will save the planet, but again, it's one small step in an effort to spread a message and promote an emerging technology. Likewise, any given renewable energy source, be it based on the sun, wind, tides or biomass, is essentially just one part of a larger effort to curb fossil fuel dependency. When possible, cleaner methods of harvesting and using fossil fuels should play a role in the effort, along with better power management and reduced consumption.

Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy?

The transition from the sinking ship to the vessel of the future may take longer than we'd like. We might have to live with both for a while, no matter how much we'd like to see the oil age vanish beneath the waves. Even more challenging, we may have to let some of our cherished possessions and ways sink with it. Explore the links below to learn even more about renewable energy and the possibilities for a sustainable future. Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and this is a defining moment of history.

This is cheaper than electricity from new-build coal and gas units.


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Solar PV and wind have been growing exponentially for decades and have now reached economic lift-off. Coal, gas, nuclear, hydro and other renewable capacity comprise the rest.

Most US coal plants are contaminating groundwater with toxins, analysis finds

PV and wind are growing at such a rate that the overall installed generation capacity of PV and wind has reached half that of coal, and will pass coal in the mids, judging by their respective trends. In Australia, PV and wind comprise most new generation capacity. About 4. The path to achieve this is by electrification of all energy services. These trends are already well established, and the outlook for the oil and gas industries is correspondingly poor. High-temperature heat, industrial processes, aviation and shipping fuel and fugitive emissions can be displaced by renewable electricity and electrically produced synthetic fuels, plastics and other hydrocarbons.

There may be a modest additional cost depending on the future price trajectory of PV and wind. Electrifying the whole energy sector of our economy of course means that electricity production needs to increase massively — roughly tripling over the next 20 years.

Benefits of Renewable Energy Use

Continued rapid growth of PV and wind will minimise dangerous climate change with minimal economic disruption. Many policy instruments are available to hasten their deployment. Governments should get behind PV and wind as the last best chance to deliver the necessary solution to global warming. This article was originally published on The Conversation and is republished here with permission.

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Cosmos Conversation Technology 07 April Solar and wind will replace fossil fuels within 20 years. The economics and politics of renewables are unstoppable, say Andrew Blakers and Matthew Stocks, both from the Australian National University.


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Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?
Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels?

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