According to a RethinkX report from October 2020, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century.” 100% solar, wind and batteries is just the beginning of a dizzying and unprecedented pace of change in energy.
(This post is sourced from the first of a series of reports from RethinkX and a video narrated by co-author Dr. Adam Dorr.)
Energy Disruption – 100% Solar, Wind, Batteries (SWB)
Like most disruptions, this one is being driven by the convergence of several key technologies whose costs and capabilities have been improving on consistent and predictable trajectories – namely, solar photovoltaic power, wind power, and lithium-ion battery energy storage.
The report shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030.
Adoption of SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most regions.
Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from this point forward.
But the replacement of conventional energy technology with SWB is just the beginning. As has been the case for many other disruptions, SWB will transform our energy system in fundamental ways.
This video is a synopsis of the RethinkX report. It answers the question: is it possible to generate 100% of our electricity with solar, wind, and batteries? The answer is a clear and unequivocal yes.
Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning
Nov 16, 2020
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The new system that emerges will be much larger than the existing one we know today and will have a completely different architecture that operates in unfamiliar ways. One of the most counterintuitive and extraordinary properties of the new system is that it will produce a superabundance of clean energy output – which we call super power.
“It is no longer a matter of if the SWB disruption of energy will happen, it is only a matter of when and where.” — James Arbib, co-founder of RethinkX.
The SWB disruption of energy will closely parallel the digital disruption of information technology. What happened in the world of bits is now poised to happen in the world of electrons.
The implications of the SWB disruption of energy are profound, but in order to maximize the extraordinary benefits of the new energy system, we as individuals, communities, industries, regions, and entire nations need to make the right choices today. That process must begin with an understanding of what is possible.
We are just on the edge of a massive energy disruption. It has already begun. We can either embrace it or be left in the dust scrambling to catch up.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.