Listen Up: Can We Get To 100 Percent Renewables?
We’ve made great progress with renewable energy — but from an almost zero base we still have a long way to go. Fortunately, the path is clear. California is already over 12 percent with a combination of hydroelectric, wind and solar (unfortunately not much hydro this year). Getting to 50 percent only requires the deployment of existing technology. But can we get to 100 percent?
It depends on whom you ask. Our society has made these transitions before, with new energy technologies disrupting the incumbents. 200 years ago 95 percent of our energy came from wood; by 1900 it was 50 percent coal; and by 2000 it was a mix of coal, nuclear, oil and gas. The Union of Concerned Scientists have published a plan for renewable energy to provide 80 percent of our electricity by 2050. Why stop there? Solar enthusiasts like me want to go for 100 percent.