Politics will be seen as main green power obstacle, but practical issues remain.

GlobeIn a world where fossil fuel provides more than 80 percent of energy, what would it take to go completely green? Could the world switch over to power from only the wind, sun, waves, and heat from the Earth in only a few decades?

The question seems a fanciful one, when world leaders are stymied over proposals for far less dramatic cuts in the carbon dioxide emissions from global burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. But two U.S. researchers, a transportation expert and an atmospheric scientist, decided the time had come to apply blue-sky thinking to one of the world’s greatest challenges.

“We wanted to show that wind, water, and solar power are available to meet demand, indefinitely,” says study co-author Mark Delucchi, of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California Davis. He and Mark Jacobson of the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University began to tally the build-out that would be needed to supply renewable energy for all the world’s factories, homes, and offices, as well as all transport—cars, planes, and ships.

Their argument that such a revolution was both possible and affordable by 2030, first explored as a thought piece published in Scientific American before the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, is detailed in a study published last month in the journal Energy Policy.

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Source: Mason Inman | National Geographic News