100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight

100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and
Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139
Countries of the World
We develop energy roadmaps to significantly slow global warming and nearly
eliminate air-pollution mortality in 139 countries. These plans call for electrifying
all energy sectors (transportation, heating/cooling, industry, agriculture/forestry/
fishing) and providing the electricity with 100% wind, water, and solar (WWS)
power. Fully implementing the roadmaps by 2050 avoids 1.5C global warming
and millions of deaths from air pollution annually; creates 24.3 million net new
long-term, full-time jobs; reduces energy costs to society; reduces power
requirements 42.5%; reduces power disruption; and increases worldwide access to
Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A.
Delucchi, Zack A.F. Bauer, …,
Jingfan Wang, Eric Weiner,
Alexander S. Yachanin
[email protected]
Roadmaps for 139 countries to
use 100% wind-water-solar in all
energy sectors
Roadmaps avoid 1.5C global
warming and millions of annual
air-pollution deaths
Roadmaps reduce social cost of
energy and create 24.3 million net
long-term jobs
Roadmaps reduce power
disruption and increase
worldwide access to energy
Jacobson et al., Joule 1, 108–121
September 6, 2017 ª 2017 Elsevier Inc.
100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water,
and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps
for 139 Countries of the World
Mark Z. Jacobson,1,5,
* Mark A. Delucchi,2 Zack A.F. Bauer,1 Savannah C. Goodman,1
William E. Chapman,1 Mary A. Cameron,1 Cedric Bozonnat,1 Liat Chobadi,3 Hailey A. Clonts,1
Peter Enevoldsen,4 Jenny R. Erwin,1 Simone N. Fobi,1 Owen K. Goldstrom,1 Eleanor M. Hennessy,1
Jingyi Liu,1 Jonathan Lo,1 Clayton B. Meyer,1 Sean B. Morris,1 Kevin R. Moy,1 Patrick L. O’Neill,1
Ivalin Petkov,1 Stephanie Redfern,1 Robin Schucker,1 Michael A. Sontag,1 Jingfan Wang,1 Eric Weiner,1
and Alexander S. Yachanin1
We develop roadmaps to transform the all-purpose energy infrastructures (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry, agriculture/forestry/fishing)
of 139 countries to ones powered by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The
roadmaps envision 80% conversion by 2030 and 100% by 2050. WWS not
only replaces business-as-usual (BAU) power, but also reduces it 42.5%
because the work: energy ratio of WWS electricity exceeds that of combustion
(23.0%), WWS requires no mining, transporting, or processing of fuels (12.6%),
and WWS end-use efficiency is assumed to exceed that of BAU (6.9%). Converting may create 24.3 million more permanent, full-time jobs than jobs lost.
It may avoid 4.6 million/year premature air-pollution deaths today and
3.5 million/year in 2050; $22.8 trillion/year (12.7 ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy) in
2050 air-pollution costs; and $28.5 trillion/year (15.8 ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy)
in 2050 climate costs. Transitioning should also stabilize energy prices because
fuel costs are zero, reduce power disruption and increase access to energy by
decentralizing power, and avoid 1.5C global warming.
The seriousness of air-pollution, climate, and energy-security problems worldwide
requires a massive, virtually immediate transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure to 100% clean, renewable energy producing zero emissions. For
example, each year, 4–7 million people die prematurely and hundreds of millions
more become ill from air pollution,1,2 causing a massive amount of pain and
suffering that can nearly be eliminated by a zero-emission energy system. Similarly, avoiding 1.5C warming since preindustrial times requires no less than an
80% conversion of the energy infrastructure to zero-emitting energy by 2030
and 100% by 2050 (Timeline and Section S10.2). Lastly, as fossil-fuel supplies
dwindle and their prices rise, economic, social, and political instability may ensue
unless a replacement energy infrastructure is developed well ahead of time.
As a response to these concerns, this study provides roadmaps for 139 countries for
which raw energy data are available.3 The roadmaps describe a future where all energy
sectors are electrified or use heat directly with existing technology, energy demand is
Context & Scale
For the world to reverse global
warming, eliminate millions of
annual air-pollution deaths, and
provide secure energy, every
country must have an energy
roadmap based on widely
available, reliable, zero-emission
energy technologies. This study
presents such roadmaps for 139
countries of the world. These
roadmaps are far more aggressive
than what the Paris agreement
calls for, but are still technically
and economically feasible. The
solution is to electrify all energy
sectors (transportation, heating/
cooling, industry, agriculture/
forestry/fishing) and provide all
electricity with 100% wind, water,
and solar (WWS) power. If fully
implemented by 2050, the
roadmaps will enable the world to
avoid 1.5C global warming and
millions of annual air-pollution
deaths, create 24.3 million net
new long-term, full-time jobs,
reduce energy costs to society,
reduce energy end-use by 42.5%,
reduce power disruption, and
increase worldwide access to
108 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 ª 2017 Elsevier Inc.
lower due to several factors, and the electricity is generated with 100% wind, water,
and sunlight (WWS). The roadmaps are not a prediction of what might happen. They
are one proposal for an end-state mix of WWS generators by country and a timeline
to get there that we believe can largely solve the world’s climate-change, air-pollution,
and energy-security problems. However, the mixes we propose are not unique, because
many combinations of WWS generators can result in stable, low-cost systems of energy
production, distribution, storage, and use.4
Previous studies have established that it may be technically and economically
feasible to transition the world as a whole5,6 and the 50 US states7 to 100% WWS
for all purposes, and that the main barriers are social and political. Other studies
(e.g., for the UK,8 Europe and North Africa,9 Australia,10,11 Europe,12,13 Great Britain,14 Hungary,15 Ireland,16 UK,17 Denmark,18 France,19 several world regions,20
and 16 countries21) have looked at similar issues, but for individual countries or
regions, selected sectors, partial carbon emission reductions, or carbon emission reductions only rather than air pollutant as well as carbon emission reductions. This
study uses a unified methodology (Methods and Supplemental Information) to
examine the question of whether it is economically possible, with mainly existing
technologies and only a few developing technologies, to transition 139 countries
to 100% WWS in all energy sectors, thereby eliminating the maximum possible air
pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions in those countries.
More specifically, we estimate 2050 annually averaged power demand for 139 countries before and after all energy sectors have been electrified. We then perform a
renewable resource analysis with multiple datasets in each country and use it to
help determine one of many possible mixes of clean, renewable generators that
can satisfy the annual demand. The generators are almost all commercially available
solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal technologies, except that we assume that
two technologies not yet widely used, tidal and wave power, are installed in small
amounts in a few countries. Similarly, most of the electric technologies that we propose for replacing fossil-fuel technologies are already commercial on a large scale
today (e.g., electric heat pumps for air and water heating, induction cooktops, electric passenger vehicles, electric induction furnaces, electric arc furnaces, dielectric
heaters), but a few are still being designed for commercial use (e.g., electric aircraft
and hybrid hydrogen fuel cell-electric aircraft). We then draw on a previous analysis
to estimate the additional energy-storage capacity needed for balancing timedependent supply and demand during a year. The present study does not examine
grid stability, since it is evaluated in separate work (see Matching Electric Power
Supply with Demand and Section S7). Finally, we estimate the land and ocean footprint and spacing areas required for the WWS scenario plus the energy costs, airpollution damage costs, climate costs, and job creation/loss for the WWS versus
BAU scenarios. With this information, we evaluate whether each country can technically (with the country’s available renewable resources and with existing plus
developing technologies) and economically meet annual average power demand
while providing environmental benefits and jobs.
In summary, each 100% WWS roadmap developed here provides an example of
what a 2050, 100% WWS versus BAU all-sector energy infrastructure can look like
in terms of:
(1) Future end-use demand (load) in each energy sector in the WWS and BAU
(2) Numbers of WWS generators needed and their footprint and spacing areas;
1Atmosphere/Energy Program, Department of
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford
University, Stanford, CA, USA
2Institute of Transportation Studies, University of
California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
3School of Planning, Building, and the
Environment, Technical University of Berlin,
Berlin, Germany
4Centre for Energy Technologies, BTECH, Aarhus
University, Aarhus, Denmark
5Lead Contact
*Correspondence: [email protected]
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 109
(3) WWS raw resources and potential, including solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop
(4) Costs of energy, transmission, and distribution in the BAU and WWS cases;
(5) Air-pollution mortality and morbidity avoided and their costs due to WWS;
(6) Carbon emissions avoided and global-warming costs due to WWS;
(7) Changes in job numbers and earnings due to WWS; and
(8) Policy measures to implement the roadmaps and a transition timeline.
While some suggest that energy options aside from WWS, such as nuclear power,
coal with carbon capture and sequestration (coal-CCS), biofuels, and bioenergy,
can play major roles in solving these problems, all four of those technologies may
represent opportunity costs in terms of carbon and health-affecting air-pollution
emissions.5,22 Nuclear and coal-CCS may also represent opportunity costs in terms
of their direct energy costs and in terms of their time lag between planning and operation relative to WWS.5,22-25
Moreover, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC,24 p. 517) concludes that there is ‘‘robust evidence’’ and ‘‘high agreement’’ that ‘‘Barriers to and
risks associated with an increasing use of nuclear energy include operational risks
and the associated safety concerns, uranium mining risks, financial and regulatory
risks, unresolved waste management issues, nuclear weapons proliferation concerns, and adverse public opinion.’’ As such, expanding the use of nuclear to countries where it does not exist may increase weapons proliferation and meltdown risks.
More advanced nuclear cannot be evaluated fully until it is commercialized but will
likely have some if not several of the issues associated with current nuclear, including
waste storage and disposal, accident risks, and weapons proliferation risks. There is
no known way at this time to eliminate these risks. By contrast, WWS technologies
have none of these risks. Thus, we are proposing and evaluating a system that we
believe provides the greatest environmental benefits with the least risk.
Even though tidal and wave power are not widely used, they have been used for power generation in the open ocean for years, have been evaluated to be clean and to
present no health risk to humans, and produce power with less time variation than
offshore wind so would complement the other resources proposed here if they
can be scaled up. Similarly, electric and hydrogen fuel cell hybrid commercial aircraft
technologies already exist in small prototypes and in passenger cars, and we do not
propose their full development until 2035–2040, whereas we need clean electric power resources starting today. In summary, we focus on WWS technologies, which at
least appear possible to solve critical environmental problems in a timely manner.
Whether the roadmaps are implemented rapidly, however, depends on social and
political factors.
Demand Reduction upon Conversion to WWS
Tables 1 and S6 (for all countries) provide one possible scenario of 139-country BAU
and WWS end-use power demand (load) in 2050. End-use load is the power in delivered electricity or fuel that is actually used to provide services such as heating,
cooling, lighting, and transportation. It excludes losses during electricity or fuel production and transmission but includes industry self-energy-use for mining, transporting, and refining fossil fuels. All end uses that can be electrified use WWS power
directly; however, some transportation uses hydrogen produced from WWS electricity (Methods).
110 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
In 2012, the 139-country all-purpose, end-use load was 12.1 TW. Of this, 2.4 TW
(19.6%) was electricity demand. Under BAU, all-purpose end-use load may grow
to 20.6 TW in 2050. Transitioning to 100% WWS by 2050 reduces the 139-country
load by 42.5%, to 11.8 TW (Table 1), with the greatest percentage reduction in
transportation. While electricity use increases with WWS, conventional fuel use decreases to zero. The increase in electric energy is much less than the decrease in energy in the gas, liquid, and solid fuels that the electricity replaces for three major
(1) The higher energy-to-work conversion efficiency of using electricity for heating, heat pumps, and electric motors, and using electrolytic hydrogen
in hydrogen fuel cells for transportation, compared with using fossil fuels
(Table S4);
(2) The elimination of energy needed to mine, transport, and refine coal, oil, gas,
biofuels, bioenergy, and uranium;
(3) Assumed modest additional policy-driven energy-efficiency measures
beyond those under BAU.
These factors decrease average demand 23.0%, 12.6%, and 6.9%, respectively, for
a total of 42.5%. Thus, WWS not only replaces fossil-fuel electricity directly but is also
an energy-efficiency measure, reducing demand.
Numbers of Electric Power Generators, Land Required, and Resources
Table 2 summarizes the numbers of WWS generators needed to power all 139 countries in 2050 for all energy purposes assuming the end-use loads by country in Table
S6 and the percent of each country’s load met by each generator in Table S8. The
numbers of generators were derived accounting for power loss during transmission,
distribution, and generator maintenance; and competition among wind turbines for
limited kinetic energy (array losses). The numbers also assume all power for a country
is generated and used in the country in the annual average, and thus ignore crossborder transfers of energy that will occur in reality.
Table S22 summarizes 2050 rooftop areas, supportable PV capacity, and installed
rooftop PV used by country, summed over the 139 roadmaps developed here.
Table 1. 2012 BAU, 2050 BAU, and 2050 100% WWS End-Use Loads (GW) by Sector, Summed Among 139 Countries
Scenario Total
% of Total
% of Total
% of Total
% of Total
Fishing %
of Total
% of
(a) 2050
Change in
Load (%)
due to
Ratio of
(b) 2050
Change in
Load (%)
due to
(c) 2050
Change in
Load (%)
due to
Change in
Load (%)
12,100 22.4 8.10 38.7 27.4 2.13 1.37
20,600 20.4 8.08 37.3 31.0 1.87 1.34
11,800 25.7 11.2 42.1 16.0 2.85 2.15 23.0 12.7 6.89 42.5
The last column shows the total percent reduction in 2050 BAU end-use load due to switching to WWS, including the effects of reduced energy use due to (a) the
higher work to energy ratio of electricity over combustion, (b) eliminating energy industry self-use for the upstream mining, transporting, and/or refining of coal,
oil, gas, biofuels, bioenergy, and uranium, and (c) assumed policy-driven increases in end-use energy efficiency beyond those in the BAU case.
Supplemental Information Section S3 describes the methodology; Table S6 contains individual country values.
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 111
Table 2. Number, Capacity, Footprint Area, and Spacing Area of WWS Power Plants or Devices Needed to Meet Total Annually Averaged End-Use
All-Purpose Load, Summed Over 139 Countries
Rated Power of
One Plant or
Device (MW)
Percent of 2050
Load Met by
Plant/Device a
Existing plus
New Plants or
Devices (GW)
Already Installed
Number of New
Plants or
Devices Needed
for 139
Percent of 139-
Country Land or
Roof Area for
Footprint of
New Plants or
Percent of 139-
Country Area
for Spacing of
New Plants or
Annual Average Power
Onshore wind 5 23.50 8,330 5.04 1,580,000 0.00002 0.9240
Offshore wind 5 13.60 4,690 0.26 935,000 0.00001 0.5460
Wave device 0.75 0.58 307 0.00 410,000 0.00018 0.0086
100 0.67 96 13.05 839 0.00023 0.0000
1300 4.00 1,060 100.00 0 0.00000 0.0000
Tidal turbine 1 0.06 31 1.79 30,100 0.00001 0.00009
roof PV
0.005 14.90 9,280 0.76 1,840,000,000 0.04030 0.0000
roof PVd
0.1 11.60 7,590 1.16 75,000,000 0.03280 0.0000
Solar PV plantd 50 21.40 12,630 0.53 251,000 0.12800 0.0000
Utility CSP
100 9.72 2,150 0.23 21,000 0.05270 0.0000
Total for
100 46,200 3.76 1,919,518,000 0.255 1.480
New land
0.181 0.924
For Peaking/Storage
100 5.83 1,290 0.00 12,900 0.032 0.000
Solar thermal
50 4,640 8.98 84,400 0.005 0.000
50 70 100.00 0 0.000 0.000
Total peaking/
5 6,000 8.11 97,300 0.037 0.000
Total all 52,200 4.26 1,919,616,000 0.291 1.480
Total new
0.218 0.924
All values are summed over 139 countries. Delucchi et al.26 provide values for individual countries. Annual average power is annual average energy divided by the
number of hours per year.
Total end-use load in 2050 with 100% WWS is from Table 1. b
Land area for each country is given in Delucchi et al.26 139-country land area is 119,651,632 km2
. c
The average capacity factors of hydropower plants are assumed to increase from their current world average values of 42% up to 50.0%. d
The solar PV panels used for this calculation are Sun Power E20 panels. For footprint calculations alone, the CSP mirror sizes are set to those at Ivanpah. CSP is
assumed to have storage with a maximum charge to discharge rate (storage size to generator size ratio) of 2.62:1. See Table S7 footnote for more details. e
The footprint area requiring new land equals the sum of footprints for new onshore wind, geothermal, hydropower, and utility solar PV. Offshore wind, wave, and
tidal generators are in water, thus do not require new land. Similarly, rooftop solar PV does not use new land so has zero new land footprint. Only onshore wind
requires new land for spacing area. See Section S5.1.1 for how spacing area is calculated and compares with data. Spacing area can be used for multiple purposes, such as open space, agriculture, grazing, etc.
The installed capacities for peaking power/storage are estimated from Jacobson et al.4 Additional CSP is CSP plus storage needed beyond that for annual
average power generation to firm the grid across all countries. Additional solar thermal and geothermal heat are used for direct heat or heat storage in soil.
Jacobson et al.4 also use other types of storage.
112 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
Rooftop PV will go on rooftops or elevated canopies above parking lots, highways,
and structures without requiring additional land. In 2050, residential rooftops
(including garages and carports) among the 139 countries may support up to 26.6
TWdc-peak of installed power, of which 34.9% is proposed for use. Commercial/
government rooftops (including parking lots and parking structures) may support
11.1 TWdc-peak, of which 68.2% is proposed for use. Low-latitude and high GDPper-capita countries are hypothesized to adopt proportionately more PV than
high-latitude, low GDP-per-capita countries.
While utility-scale PV can operate in any country, because it can use direct and
diffuse sunlight, CSP is viable only where significant direct sunlight exists. Thus,
CSP penetration in several countries is limited (Section S5.2.4).
Onshore wind is available in every country but assumed to be deployed aggressively
primarily in countries with good wind resources and sufficient land (Section S5.1.1).
Offshore wind is assumed viable in the 108 out of 139 countries with ocean or lake
coastline (Section S5.1.2). In most of these countries, the technical potential installed
capacity is determined from the area of coastal water less than 60 m depth and with a
capacity factor of at least 34% in the annual average.
The 2050 nameplate capacity of hydropower is assumed to be the same as in 2015.
However, existing hydropower is assumed to run at slightly higher capacity factor
(Section S5.4). This assumption is justified by the fact that in many places, hydropower use is currently suppressed by the availability and use of gas and coal, which will
be eliminated here. If current capacity factors are limited by low rainfall, it may also
be possible to make up for the deficit with additional run-of-the-river hydro, pumped
hydro, or non-hydro WWS energy sources. Geothermal, tidal, and wave power are
limited by each country’s technical potentials (Sections S5.3, S5.5, S5.6).
Table 2 also lists needed installed capacities of additional CSP with storage, new solar thermal collectors, and existing geothermal heat installations. These collectors
are needed to provide electricity or heat that is mostly stored for peaking power
(Section S7).
Table 2 indicates that 4.26% of the 2050 nameplate capacity required for a 100% allpurpose WWS system among the 139 countries was already installed as of the end of
2015. The countries closest to 100% installation are Tajikistan (76.0%), Paraguay
(58.9%), Norway (35.8%), Sweden (20.7%), Costa Rica (19.1%), Switzerland
(19.0%), Georgia (18.7%), Montenegro (18.4%), and Iceland (17.3%). China (5.8%)
ranks 39th and the United States (4.2%) ranks 52nd (Figure S2).
Footprint is the physical area on the top surface of soil or water needed for each
energy device. It does not include areas of underground structures. Spacing is the
area between some devices, such as wind, tidal, and wave turbines, needed to
minimize interference of the wake of one turbine with others downwind. The total
new land footprint required for the 139 countries is 0.22% of the 139-country
land area (Table 2), mostly for utility PV. This does not account for the decrease in
footprint from eliminating the current energy infrastructure, which includes footprints for continuous mining, transporting, and refining fossil fuels and uranium
and for growing, transporting, and refining biocrops. WWS has no footprint
associated with mining fuels, but both WWS and BAU energy infrastructures require
one-time mining for raw materials for new plus repaired equipment construction.
The only spacing over land needed is between onshore wind turbines and
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 113
requires 0.92% of the 139-country land area (Figure 1). The installed spacing area
density of onshore and offshore wind turbines assumed here is less than indicated by
data from dozens of wind farms worldwide (Section S5.1.1), thus spacing requirements may be less than proposed here.
Energy Costs
In this section, current and future full social costs (including capital, land, operating,
maintenance, storage, fuel, transmission, and externality costs) of WWS electric
power generators versus non-WWS conventional fuel generators are estimated.
These costs include the costs of CSP storage, solar collectors for underground
heat storage in rocks and boilers, and all transmission/distribution costs, including
additional short-distance A/C lines and long-distance high-voltage D/C lines. We
do not include here the cost of underground storage in rocks (apart from the cost
of the solar collectors), the cost of pumped hydro storage, the cost of heat and
cold storage in water and ice, or the cost of hydrogen fuel cells, but the section
Matching Electric Power Supply with Demand provides a brief discussion that includes these costs.
The total up-front capital cost of the 2050 WWS system (for annual average power
plus the peaking power and storage infrastructure listed in Table 2) for the 139
countries is $124.7 trillion for the 49.9 TW of new installed capacity needed
($2.5 million/MW). This compares with $2.7 million/MW for the BAU case. In
addition, WWS has zero fuel costs, whereas BAU has non-zero fuel cost. To account
for these factors plus operation/maintenance, transmission/distribution, and storage costs, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is needed.
Figure 1. Footprint Plus Spacing Areas (km2
) Required Beyond Existing 2015 Installations, to
Repower the 139 Countries Considered Here with WWS for All Purposes in 2050
Table 2 gives the corresponding percentage of 139-country land area. For hydropower, the new
footprint plus spacing area is zero since no new installations are proposed. For rooftop PV, the
circle represents the additional area of 2050 rooftops that needs to be covered (thus does not
represent new land).
114 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
The 2050 LCOEs, weighted among all electricity generators and countries in the
BAU and WWS cases, are 9.78 ¢/kWh-BAU-electricity and 8.86 ¢/kWh-WWS-allenergy, respectively (Table S34), excluding at this point any costs for peaking and
storage. Taking the product of the first number and the kWh-BAU in the retail
electricity sector, subtracting the product of the second number and the kWhWWS-electricity replacing BAU retail electricity, and subtracting the amortized
cost of energy-efficiency improvements beyond BAU improvements in the WWS
case, gives a 2050 business cost saving due to switching from BAU to WWS electricity of $115/year per capita ($2013 USD). Estimating an additional 0.8 ¢/kWhWWS-electricity for peaking and storage in the BAU retail electricity sector from
Jacobson et al.4 gives a WWS approximate business cost of 9.66 ¢/kWh-WWSelectricity, still providing $85/year per capita savings for WWS relative to just
BAU’s retail electricity sector.
Matching Electric Power Supply with Demand
In the present study, we first calculate the baseline number of electric power generators of each type needed to power each country based on the 2050 annually averaged WWS load in the country after all sectors have been electrified but before
considering grid reliability and neglecting energy imports and exports.
We then use data from a 2015 grid-integration study for the US4 to make a first-guess
estimate of the additional electricity and heat generators needed in each country to
ensure a reliable regional electric power grid (Table 2). Such estimates are then used
as starting points in a separate, follow-up grid-integration study for 139 countries.
Although no information from the separate 139-country grid-integration study feeds
back to the present study, results from that grid-integration study are briefly
described here next to provide an idea of the 139-country average energy cost to
keep the grid stable with 100% WWS.
In M.Z.J., M.A.D., M.A.C., and B.V. Mathiesen, unpublished data, each of the 139
countries is allocated to one of 20 world regions. The numbers of wind and solar
generators determined from the present study are input into the GATOR-GCMOM
climate model4 in each country. The model predicts the resulting wind (onshore,
offshore) and solar (PV, CSP, thermal) resources worldwide every 30 s for 5 years,
accounting for extreme weather events, competition among wind turbines for kinetic energy, and the feedback of extracted solar radiation to roof and surface temperatures. The LOADMATCH grid-integration model4 then combines the wind and
solar resource time series with estimated time series for other WWS generators;
hourly load data for each country; capacities for low-cost heat storage (in underground rocks and water), cold storage (in ice and water), electricity storage (in
CSP with storage, pumped hydropower, batteries, and hydropower reservoirs),
and hydrogen storage; and demand-response to obtain low-cost, zero-load loss
grid solutions for each of the 20 grid regions.
In that study, it was found that matching large differences between high electrical
demand and low renewable supply could be realized largely by using a combination
of either (1) substantial CSP storage plus batteries with zero change in existing hydropower annual energy output or peak power discharge rate, (2) modest CSP storage with no batteries and zero change in the existing hydropower annual energy
output but a substantial increase in hydropower’s peak discharge rate, (3) increases
in CSP-storage, batteries, and heat pumps, but no thermal energy storage and no
increase in hydropower’s peak discharge rate or annual energy output, or (4) a combination of (1), (2), and (3). Thus, there were multiple solutions for matching peak
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 115
demand with supply 100% of the time for 5 years without bioenergy, nuclear, power,
fossil fuels with carbon capture, or natural gas.
In one set of simulations from M.Z.J., M.A.D., M.A.C., and B.V. Mathiesen, unpublished data, the resulting total costs of delivered 100% WWS energy, including
generation, storage, short- and long-distance transmission, distribution, and maintenance, across all 139 countries in all 20 regions, was 10.6 (8.1–14) ¢/kWh-allenergy (USD, 2013) and 9.8 (7.9–12) ¢/kWh-WWS- electricity, the latter of which
compares with the rough estimate of 9.7 ¢/kWh-WWS-electricity from the section
Energy Costs here.
Air-Pollution Cost Reductions Due to WWS
The costs avoided due to reducing air-pollution mortality in each country are
quantified as follows. Global 3D modeled concentrations of PM2.5 and O3 in each
of 139 countries are combined with the relative risk of mortality as a function of concentration and population in a health-effects equation.27 Results are then projected
to 2050 accounting for increasing population, increasing emission sources, and
increasing emission controls (Section S8.1).
Resulting contemporary worldwide outdoor plus indoor premature mortalities over
the 139 countries are 4.28 (1.2–7.6) million/year for PM2.5, 0.28 (0.14–0.42)
million/year for O3, and 4.56 (1.33–7.98) million/year for both. Premature mortalities over the whole world are 4.97 (1.45–8.65) million/year for both pollutants (Figure S12), which compares with 4–7 million/year (outdoor plus indoor) worldwide
from other studies.1,2,28-30 Premature mortalities derived for 2050 here are 3.5
(0.84–7.4) million/year for the 139 countries (Table S36).
The air-pollution damage cost due to fossil-fuel and biofuel combustion and
evaporative emissions in a country is the sum of mortality, morbidity, and nonhealth costs such as lost visibility and agricultural output. Mortality cost equals
mortalities multiplied by the value of statistical life. Morbidity plus non-health costs
are estimated as in Section S8.1. The resulting 139-country 2050 air-pollution cost
due to 100% WWS is $23 ($4.1-$69) trillion/year, or 12.7 (2.3–38) ¢/kWh-BAUall-energy, which is 7.6% (1.4%–23%) of the 2050 global annual GDP on a
purchasing power parity basis and $2,600/year per person (in 2013 USD). Our
air-pollution mean cost, which applies across all BAU sectors, is well within the
1.4–17 ¢/kWh-BAU-electricity range of another study for the retail electricity
Global-Warming Damage Costs Eliminated
Global-warming costs include costs due to coastal flooding and real-estate damage; agricultural loss; health problems due to enhanced heat stress and stroke,
air pollution, influenza, malaria, and dengue fever; enhanced drought, wildfires,
water shortages, famine, and flooding; ocean acidification; and increased severe
weather. In some regions, these costs are partly offset by fewer extreme cold
events, associated reductions in illness and mortality, and gains in agriculture.
Net costs due to global-warming-relevant emissions are embodied in the social
cost of carbon dioxide, which is estimated for 2050 from recent studies as $500
($282–1,063)/metric tonne-CO2e in 2013 USD.7 Applying this range to estimated
2050 CO2e emissions suggests that 139-country emissions may cause $28.5
($16.1–60.7) trillion/year in climate damage to the world by 2050, or 15.8 (8.9–
34) ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy and $3,200/year per person (in 2013 USD) (Section
S8.2; Tables S34 and S40).
116 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
Impacts of WWS on Jobs and Earnings in the Power Generation Sector
Changes in job numbers and earnings resulting from building out 100% of the WWS
electricity generation and transmission systems needed by 2050 are estimated with
NREL’s Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models.31 The models
account for onsite ‘‘direct’’ jobs, local revenue and supply chain ‘‘indirect’’ jobs,
and ‘‘induced’’ jobs from the spending and reinvestment of earnings from direct
and indirect jobs.
The build-out of the WWS generation and transmission infrastructure produces
jobs during construction and operation. All job numbers provided here are
permanent, full-time (2,080 hr/year) jobs. Permanent direct, indirect, and induced
construction jobs are calculated assuming that 1/L of total installed capacity is
built or replaced every year, where L is the average facility life (Section S9.1.2).
Upon replacement of each facility, new construction jobs are needed. As such, construction jobs continue permanently. Job estimates do not include job changes in
industries outside of electric power generation (e.g., the manufacture of electric
vehicles, fuel cells, or electricity storage), as it is uncertain where those jobs will
be located and the extent to which they will be offset by losses in BAU-equivalent
Results indicate that 100% conversion to WWS across 139 countries can create
25.4 million new ongoing full-time construction-related jobs and 26.6 million
new full-time, ongoing operation- and maintenance-related jobs, totaling 52.0
million new ongoing jobs for WWS generators and transmission (Table S42).
Tables S42 and S45 summarize the resulting 139-country job losses in the oil, gas,
coal, nuclear, and bioenergy industries. Because WWS plants replace BAU fossil, nuclear, bioenergy, and BAU-WWS plants, jobs lost from not constructing BAU plants
are also included. Jobs lost from the construction of petroleum refineries and oil
and gas pipelines are also counted. Shifting to WWS is estimated to result in
27.7 million jobs lost in the current fossil-fuel, biofuel, and nuclear industries, representing 0.97% of the 2.86 billion 139-country workforce.
In summary, WWS may create a net of 24.3 million permanent, full-time jobs across
the 139 countries. Whereas the number of operation jobs declines slightly, the number of permanent, continuous construction jobs far more than makes up for the loss
(Table S42). Individually, countries that currently extract significant fossil fuels (e.g.,
Algeria, Angola, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) may experience net job loss in the energy production sector. These losses can be offset by
the manufacture, service, and export of technologies associated with WWS energy
(e.g., liquid hydrogen production and storage, electric vehicles, electric heating
and cooling, etc.). Those offsetting jobs are not included in the job numbers here.
Collectively, the direct and indirect earnings from producing WWS electricity/transmission across 139 countries amount to $1.86 trillion/year during construction and
$2.06 trillion/year during operation. The annual fossil-fuel earnings loss is $2.06
trillion/year, yielding a net $1.86 trillion/year gain (Table S42).
Figure 2 is a proposed WWS transformation timeline for the 139 countries. It assumes 80% conversion to WWS by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The rate of transformation is based on what is necessary to eliminate air-pollution mortality as soon as
possible, what is needed to avoid 1.5C net global warming, and what we estimate
is technically and economically feasible.
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 117
Friedlingstein et al.32 estimate that, for the globally averaged temperature change
since 1870 to increase by less than 2C with a 67% or 50% probability, cumulative
CO2 emissions since 1870 must stay below 3,200 (2,900–3,600) Gt-CO2 or 3,500
(3,100–3,900) Gt-CO2, respectively. This accounts for non-CO2 forcing agents
affecting the temperature response as well. Matthews33 further estimates the emission limits needed to keep temperature increases under 1.5C with probabilities of
67% and 50% as 2,400 Gt-CO2 and 2,625 Gt-CO2, respectively. As of the end of
2015, 2,050 Gt-CO2 from fossil-fuel combustion, cement manufacturing, and
land use change had been emitted cumulatively since 1870,33 suggesting no more
than 350–575 Gt-CO2 can be emitted for a 67%–50% probability of keeping post1870 warming under 1.5C. Given the current and projected global emission rate
of CO2, it is necessary to cut energy and land use change emissions yearly until emission cuts reach 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5C with a
probability of between 50% and 67% (Section S10.2).
Section S10.1 lists proposed timeline milestones by energy sector, and Section S11
identifies some of many potential transition policies to select from. Whereas much
new WWS infrastructure can be installed upon natural retirement of BAU infrastructure, new policies are needed to force remaining existing infrastructure to be retired
early to allow the complete conversion to WWS. Because the fuel, operating, and
Figure 2. Time-Dependent Changes in 139-Country-Summed, Annually Averaged End-Use Power Demand for All Purposes (Electricity,
Transportation, Heating/Cooling, Industry, Agriculture/Fishing/Forestry, and Other) and Energy Supply in the BAU (Conventional Fuels) Case and as
Proposed Here in the WWS Case
For a Figure360 author presentation of Figure 2, see http//dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2017.07.005#mmc2
Total power demand decreases upon converting to WWS. The percentages next to each WWS source are the final (2050) estimated percent supply of
end-use power by the source. The 100% demarcation in 2050 indicates that 100% of all-purpose power is provided by WWS technologies by 2050, and
the power demand by that time has decreased. In the WWS scenario, 80% conversion occurs by 2030.
118 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
external costs of continuing to use existing BAU fossil-fuel capacity are, in total,
much greater than the full annualized capital-plus-operating costs of building new
WWS plants (indeed, the climate and air-pollution costs alone of BAU infrastructure,
28.5 [11.2–72] ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy, exceed the full cost of new WWS infrastructure), and because substitution of WWS for BAU energy systems increase total
jobs, it is beneficial to society to immediately stop operating existing BAU fossilfuel plants and replace them with new WWS plants.
Transitioning 139 countries to 100% WWS has the potential to (1) avoid 4.6 (1.3–
8.0) million premature air-pollution mortalities/year today and 3.5 (0.84–7.4)
million/year in 2050, which along with non-mortality impacts, avoids $23 ($4.1–
69) trillion/year in 2050 air-pollution damage costs (2013 USD); (2) avoid $28.5
($16.1–60.7) trillion/year in 2050 global-warming costs (2013 USD); (3) avoid a total
health plus climate cost of 28.5 (11.2–72) ¢/kWh-BAU-all-energy, or $5,800/year
per person, over 139 countries; (4) save $85/person/year in BAU-electricity-sector
fuel costs; (5) create 24.3 million net new permanent, full-time jobs; (6) stabilize energy prices; (7) use minimal new land (0.22% of 139-country land for new footprint
and 0.92% for new spacing); (8) enable countries to produce as much energy as
they consume in the annual average; (9) increase access to distributed energy
by up to 4 billion people worldwide currently in energy poverty; and (10) decentralize much of the world power supply, thereby reducing the risk of large-scale
system disruptions due to machinery breakdown or physical terrorism (but not
necessarily due to cyber attack). Finally, the aggressive worldwide conversion to
WWS proposed here may help avoid global temperature rising more than 1.5C
since 1870. While social and political barriers exist, converting to 100% WWS using
existing technologies is technically and economically feasible. Reducing the barriers
requires disseminating information to make people aware about what is possible,
effective policies (Section S11), and individuals taking actions to transition their
own homes and lives.
Quantifying the numbers of WWS generators in each country begins with 2012 energy-use data3 in each energy sector of 139 countries for which data are available.
Energy use in each sector of each country is projected to 2050 from the 2012 data
in a BAU scenario (Section S3.2). The projections account for increasing demand;
modest shifts from coal to natural gas, biofuels, bioenergy, and some WWS; and
some end-use energy-efficiency improvements.
All energy-consuming processes in each sector are then electrified, and the resulting
end-use energy required for a fully electrified all-purpose energy infrastructure is
estimated (Section S3.3). Some end-use electricity is used to produce hydrogen
for long-distance ground, ship, and air transportation. Modest assumed additional
end-use energy-efficiency improvements are then applied. The remaining power
demand is supplied with a combination of different WWS technologies determined
by available natural resources and the rooftop, land, and water areas in that country.
The WWS electricity generation technologies assumed include onshore and offshore
wind turbines, CSP, geothermal heat and electricity, rooftop and utility-scale solar
PVs, tidal and wave power, and hydropower. These are existing technologies found
to minimize health and climate impacts compared with other technologies, while
also minimizing land and water use.22
Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017 119
Technologies for ground transportation include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and
BEV-hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) hybrids, where the hydrogen is electrolytic (produced
by electrolysis or passing electricity through water). BEVs with fast charging (an existing commercial technology) dominate short- and long-distance, light-duty ground
transportation, construction machines, agricultural equipment, short- and moderate-distance trains, short-distance boats and ships (e.g., ferries, speedboats), and
aircraft traveling less than 1,500 km. BEV-HFCV hybrids dominate medium- and
heavy-duty trucks and long-distance trains, ships, and aircraft. HFCs are not used
to generate electricity due to the relative inefficiency and associated costs of this
application. In this study, 7.0% of all 2050 WWS electricity (43.6% of the transportation load) is for producing, storing, and using hydrogen. Currently, several companies are developing electric commercial aircraft for travel up to 1,500 km, and a
four-seat HFC aircraft with a range of 1,500 km has been developed (Section S2).
We believe such technology can become mature by 2035 and 2040, respectively,
by the time we propose that they comprise all new aircraft (Section S10.1).
Air heating and cooling are powered by ground-, air-, or water-source electric heat
pumps. Water heat is generated by heat pumps with an electric resistance element
for low temperatures and/or solar hot water preheating. Cook stoves are electric
Electric arc furnaces, induction furnaces, and dielectric heaters are used to power
high-temperature industrial processes directly.
The roadmaps assume the adoption of new energy-efficiency measures but exclude
the use of nuclear power, carbon capture, liquid and solid biofuels, and natural gas
primarily because the latter sources all increase air pollution and climate-warming
emissions more than do WWS technologies and because the use of nuclear power
entails serious risks that WWS systems do not have.22
Supplemental Information includes Supplemental Experimental Procedures, 10 figures, and 45 tables and can be found with this article online at http://dx.doi.org/
Conceptualization, M.Z.J. and M.A.D.; Software, M.A.D., M.Z.J., Z.A.F.B., S.C.G.,
W.E.C., Methodology, M.Z.J. and M.A.D.; Supervision, M.Z.J. and M.A.D.; Investigation, M.A.D., M.Z.J., Z.A.F.B, S.C.G., W.E.C., M.A.C., C.B., L.C., H.A.C., P.E., J.R.E.,
S.N.F., O.K.G., E.M.H., J. Liu, J. Lo, C.B.M., S.B.M., K.R.M., P.L.O., I.P., S.R., R.S.,
M.A.S., J.W., E.W., A.S.Y.;Writing – Original Draft,M.A.D., M.Z.J.;Writing – Review &
Editing, M.Z.J., M.A.D., M.A.C., P.E.; Visualization, M.Z.J. and M.A.C.
We would like to thank The Solutions Project for partial funding of three students.
We would like to thank Karl Burkart for developing the timeline graphic for this
Received: February 13, 2017
Revised: April 11, 2017
Accepted: July 7, 2017
Published: August 23, 2017
120 Joule 1, 108–121, September 6, 2017
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