The growth of oil in transport slows even more dramatically, largely because of displacement of oil by biofuels and is likely to plateau in the mid-2020s. Currently, biofuels contribute 3% on an energy basis and this is forecast to rise to 9% at the expense of oil’s share.
Rail, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and the use of compressed natural gas in transport is likely to grow, but without making a material contribution to total transport before 2030.
The major factors that BP sees changing their projection are higher or lower economic growth, some stronger policy action against climate and what China does energy wise. The weaker the economic growth then the less energy is used. Exceptionally strong policy action could reduce the use of coal by about 20% by 2030 and reduce the growth in coal usage.
Jacoboson’s 100% renewable proposal
Climate change, pollution, and energy insecurity are among the greatest problems of our time. Addressing them requires major changes in our energy infrastructure. Here, we analyze the feasibility of providing worldwide energy for all purposes (electric power, transportation, heating/cooling, etc.) from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). In Part I, we discuss WWS energy system characteristics, current and future energy demand, availability of WWS resources, numbers of WWS devices, and area and material requirements. In Part II, we address variability, economics, and policy of WWS energy. We estimate that ~3,800,000 5 MW wind turbines, ~49,000 300 MW concentrated solar plants, ~40,000 300 MW solar PV power plants, ~1.7 billion 3 kW rooftop PV systems, ~5350 100 MW geothermal power plants, ~270 new 1300 MW hydroelectric power plants, ~720,000 0.75 MW wave devices, and 490,000 1 MW tidal turbines can power a 2030 WWS world that uses electricity and electrolytic hydrogen for all purposes. Such a WWS infrastructure reduces world power demand by 30% and requires only ~0.41% and ~0.59% more of the world’s land for footprint and spacing, respectively. We suggest producing all new energy with WWS by 2030 and replacing the pre-existing energy by 2050. Barriers to the plan are primarily social and political, not technological or economic. The energy cost in a WWS world should be similar to that today.
Jacobson considers some supply issues but does care about increase (by about ten times) usage of steel, concrete and land for energy generation.
Note: Among the ways that the above proposal is delusional. The number of solar rooftops is 16 times the number of buildings in the USA.
The development of WWS power systems is not likely to be constrained by the availability of bulk materials, such as steel and concrete. In a globalWWSsystem, some of the rarer materials, such as neodymium (in electric motors and generators), platinum (in fuel cells), and lithium (in batteries), will have to be recycled or eventually replaced with less-scarce materials unless additional resources are located. The cost of recycling or replacing neodymium or platinum is not likely to affect noticeably the economics of WWS systems, but the cost of large-scale recycling of lithium batteries is unknown.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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