How to Reach 100% Clean Energy By 2050? - Seeker's Thoughts

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How to Reach 100% Clean Energy By 2050?

Renewable energy accounts for 13.5% of the world’s total energy supply, and 22% of the world’s electricity.

Renewable energy systems are major topics when discussing the globe’s energy future for two main reasons.

The First – renewable energy system provides energy from sources that will never be over.

Second – renewable energy systems produce less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuel energy systems.

According to Stanford University scientists, at least 143 countries around the world can achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050, the roadmap was published in the journal One Earth, employs the latest energy data available in each country to provide more precise guidance on how to reach those commitments.

How a hundred percent of clean energy can be achieved?

A team led by Mark Jacobson from Stanford University, they focused on low-cost, stable grid solution in 24 world region, that comprises of 143 countries.

According to their projections, transitioning to clean, renewable energy could reduce worldwide energy needs by at least 57%, create 28.6 million more jobs, and reduce energy, health, and climate costs by 91% compared with business as usual analysis.

As per the plan, the roadmap utilizes updated data about how each country’s energy use is changing acknowledges lower costs and greater availability of renewable energy and storage technology.

It will include new countries in its analysis and accounts for recently-built clean, renewable infrastructure in some countries.

“There are several countries that have already committed to doing something to counteract the growing impacts of global warming, however, they still don’t know exactly how and what to do,” scientists said.


What will be the roadmap?

According to the roadmap, to increase energy efficiency, electrification of all energy sectors is required which can reduce energy use, and for the development of wind, water, and solar infrastructure that can supply 80% of all power by 2030 and 100% of all power by 2050.

Latest-model says that the efficiency of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over fossil fuel vehicles, notably of the electrified industry over the fossil fuel industry, could substantially decrease overall energy use.

The efficiency of electric heat pumps over fossil heating and cooling along with the elimination of energy needed for mining, transporting, and refining fossil fuels, will have the same effects.

Scientists and researchers predict that while the eventual transition to wind, water, and solar required an initial investment of USD 73 trillion worldwide, the cost to benefit ratio over time would pay for itself through energy sales.

Additionally, clean, renewable energy is cheaper to generate over time than are fossil fuels, so the investment reduces annual energy costs significantly.


What is Hydrogen Fuel?

Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel when burned with oxygen. It can be used in electrochemical cells or internal combustion engines to power vehicles or electric devices. It has begun to be used in commercial fuel cell vehicles such as passenger cars and has been used in fuel cell buses for many years.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to store, move, and deliver energy produced from other sources.

How can hydrogen benefit mankind?

New hydrogen-powered electric flying vehicles will someday serve as taxis, cargo carriers and ambulances of the sky, but experts say they will have to clear a number of regulatory hurdles before being approved for take-off years in the future.

How does Hydrogen Fuel Produce?

Hydrogen fuel can be produced through several methods. The most common methods today are natural gas reforming (a thermal process), and electrolysis. Other methods include solar-houses, for portable power, and in many more applications.

1.       Thermal Processes

Thermal processes for hydrogen production typically involve steam reforming, a high-temperature process in which steam reacts with a hydrocarbon fuel to produce hydrogen. Many hydrocarbon fuels can be reformed to produce hydrogen, including natural gas, diesel, renewable liquid fuels, gasified coal, or gasified biomass. Today, about 95% of all hydrogen is produced from the steam reforming of natural gas.


2.       Electrolytic Processes

Water can be separated into oxygen and hydrogen through a process called electrolysis. Electrolytic processes take place in an electrolyzer, which functions much like a fuel cell in reverse—instead of using the energy of a hydrogen molecule like a fuel cell does, an electrolyzer creates hydrogen from water molecules.

3.       Solar-Driven Processes

Solar-driven processes use light as the agent for hydrogen production. There are a few solar-driven processes, including photobiological, photoelectrochemical, and solar thermochemical. Photobiological processes use the natural photosynthetic activity of bacteria and green algae to produce hydrogen. Photoelectrochemical processes use specialized semiconductors to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Solar thermochemical hydrogen production uses concentrated solar power to drive water splitting reactions often along with other species such as metal oxides.

4.       Biological Processes

Biological processes use microbes such as bacteria and microalgae and can produce hydrogen through biological reactions. In microbial biomass conversion, the microbes break down organic matter like biomass or wastewater to produce hydrogen, while in photo biological processes the microbes use sunlight as the energy source.

What is Fuel Cell?

Fuel cells have various advantages compared to conventional power sources, such as internal combustion engines or batteries. Although some of the fuel cells' attributes are only valid for some applications, most advantages are more general.

Benefits include:

·       Fuel cells have a higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines.

·       Most fuel cells operate silently, compared to internal combustion engines. They are therefore ideally suited for use within buildings such as hospitals.

·       Fuel cells can eliminate pollution caused by burning fossil fuels; for hydrogen-fuelled fuel cells, the only by-product at point of use is water.

·       If the hydrogen comes from the electrolysis of water driven by renewable energy, then using fuel cells eliminates greenhouse gases over the whole cycle.

·       Fuel cells do not need conventional fuels such as oil or gas and can, therefore, reduce economic dependence on oil-producing countries, creating greater energy security for the user nation.

·    Since hydrogen can be produced anywhere where the water is available and a source of power, the generation of fuel can be distributed and does not have to be grid-dependent.

      The use of stationary fuel cells to generate power at the point of use allows for a decentralized power grid that is potentially more stable.

      Low-temperature fuel cells (PEMFC, DMFC) have low heat transmission which makes them ideal for military applications.

      Higher temperature fuel cells produce high-grade process heat along with electricity and are well suited to cogeneration applications (such as combined heat and power for residential use).

     Operating times are much longer than with batteries since doubling the operating time needs only doubling the amount of fuel and not the doubling of the capacity of the unit itself.

     Unlike batteries, fuel cells, have no "memory effect" when they are getting refueled.

·       The maintenance of fuel cells is simple since there are few moving parts in the system.

The world demand for energy has been projected to double by 2050 and be more than triple by the end of the century since the industrial revolution in the 1850s. The human consumption of fossil fuels has been one of the growing causes of international concern and unease among some industrial nations.

What if we ran out of fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels probably won’t run out, at least not in the sense that they will be exhausted. Oil, coal and natural gas were here before us and will be hereafter we’re gone. But that doesn’t mean we can keep using them forever or even into the near future due to climate change, and IPCC's warning to stop using them. 

We have harvested the low-hanging fruit – surface coal and the most accessible oil reserves are already going or gone.

We human dependence on fossil fuels, the greater the lengths we’ll go to feed our addiction.  


Are biofuels capable to replace fossil fuels?

Fears that increased energy demand, as well as the need for ecologically acceptable fuels that the world replaces highly polluting fossil fuels, are the main reasons behind many different alternative energy researchers. One segment of the alternative fuel market that has been recently gaining plenty of popularity is biofuels.

Comparably biofuels with gasoline it can be seen that the gasoline is refined from limited crude oil supplies, while biofuel can be produced from a number of organized sources that are not limited like oil is.


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