A new roadmap from The Solution Project shows that 139 countries could convert to 100 percent renewable energy like wind and solar power by 2050 while creating tens of millions of long-term jobs in the process. That’s just part of the renewable energy news that made waves last week. In other news research shows that multi-layer silicon photovoltaics have reached 36 percent efficiency levels.
The Solution Project’s roadmap showed that moving to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 at 139 countries would create more than 24 million long-term jobs. Beyond that the roadmap, created by Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson and 26 colleagues, also showed that moving to 100 percent renewables in these countries, and regions, including the US and European Union countries, would reduce air pollution-related deaths by 4 million to 7 million annually, among other benefits.
To help move that along, solar power will have to become more efficient while remaining inexpensive. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), have developed silicon-based multi-junction photovoltaic cells that have reached efficiency levels of 35.9 percent. The cells would cost less than multi-junction PV cells made out of much more expensive materials. They would still cost more than conventional PV cells but the technologies could be added to more conventional silicon PV manufacturing processes.
Making these transitions in the US aren’t causing other forms of energy generation to go out of business. That’s the conclusion of the Department of Energy’s long-awaited grid reliability study. The study found that the lower costs of energy from natural gas, solar and wind weren’t the direct cause of coal and nuclear power plants shuttering earlier than expected. Rather a combination of forces, market and policy wise were causing early plant closures.
Indeed, nuclear power may have seen its biggest days. GreenTech Media reported that by the end of 2017 or early 2018, the nameplate capacity of solar power will have finally surpassed the nameplate capacity of nuclear power. It said that by the end of the year the amount of solar PV installed could reach 390 gigawatts while the amount of nuclear power online will be 391.5 GWs.
Comcast’s bundles got bigger last week. The company announced it will soon offer residential solar power through Sunrun as part of its bundled services. With more than 27 million customers the company could open up the offer to a huge number of customers across the US as the companies expand the offering.
While IT companies across the world are understanding the importance of renewable energy and solar power, the US’ biggest cell phone companies AT&T Verizon are only getting 2 percent of their energy from renewables at this point. To help them move to 100 percent renewables Green America has launched the “Hang up on Fossil Fuels” campaign. The campaign wants the companies to move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.Tweet