Matching demand with supply at low cost in 139 countries among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes

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Renewable Energy, ISSN: 0960-1481, Vol: 123, Page: 236-248

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Mark Z. Jacobson; Mark A. Delucchi; Mary A. Cameron; Brian V. Mathiesen
Elsevier BV
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Matching electricity, heat, and cold demand with supply at low cost is the greatest concern facing countries seeking to provide their all-purpose energy with 100% clean, renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). Implementing WWS worldwide could eliminate 4–7 million annual air pollution deaths, first slow then reverse global warming, and provide energy sustainably. This study derives zero-load-loss technical solutions to matching demand with 100% WWS supply; heat, cold, and electricity storage; hydrogen production; assumed all-distance transmission; and demand response for 20 world regions encompassing 139 countries after they electrify or provide direct heat for all energy in 2050. Multiple solutions are found, including those with batteries and heat pumps but zero added hydropower turbines and zero thermal energy storage. Whereas WWS and Business-As-Usual (BAU) energy costs per unit energy are similar, WWS requires ∼42.5% less energy in a base case and ∼57.9% less in a heat-pump case so may reduce capital and consumer costs significantly. Further, WWS social (energy + health + climate) costs per unit energy are one-fourth BAU's. By reducing water vapor, the wind turbines proposed may rapidly offset ∼3% global warming while also displacing fossil-fuel emissions. Thus, with careful planning, the world's energy challenges may be solvable with a practical technique.