Publication Detail

Providing All Global Energy with Wind, Water, and Solar Power, Part II: Reliability, System and Transmission Costs, and Policies

UCD-ITS-RP-11-02

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Available online at doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.11.045

See this page for Part I of this article.

Suggested Citation:
Delucchi, Mark A. and Mark Z. Jacobson (2011) Providing All Global Energy with Wind, Water, and Solar Power, Part II: Reliability, System and Transmission Costs, and Policies. Energy Policy 39, 1170 - 1190

This is Part II of two papers evaluating the feasibility of providing all energy for all purposes (electric power, transportation, and heating/cooling), everywhere in the world, from wind, water, and the sun (WWS). In Part I, we described the prominent renewable energy plans that have been proposed and discussed the characteristics of WWS energy systems, the global demand for and availability of WWS energy, quantities and areas required for WWS infrastructure, and supplies of critical materials. Here, we discuss methods of addressing the variability of WWS energy to ensure that power supply reliably matches demand (including interconnecting geographically dispersed resources, using hydroelectricity, using demand-response management, storing electric power on site, over-sizing peak generation capacity and producing hydrogen with the excess, storing electric power in vehicle batteries, and forecasting weather to project energy supplies), the economics of WWS generation and transmission, the economics of WWS use in transportation, and policy measures needed to enhance the viability of a WWS system. We find that the cost of energy in a 100%WWSwill be similar to the cost today. We conclude that barriers to a 100% conversion to WWS power worldwide are primarily social and political, not technological or even economic.

Keywords: wind power, solar power, water power