[MCN] Can Montana be freed from fossil economy? How, and when?

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Tue Jun 9 10:16:14 EDT 2015

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector 
energy roadmaps for the 50 United States
Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Guillaume Bazouin, Zack A. F. 
Bauer, Christa C. Heavey, Emma Fisher, Sean B. Morris, Diniana J. Y. 
Piekutowski, Taylor A. Vencill and Tim W. Yeskoo  

Energy and  Environmental Science  2015, Advance Article


This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to 
convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, 
transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered 
entirely by wind, water, and sunlight (WWS). The plans contemplate 
80-85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. 
Conversion would reduce each state's end-use power demand by a mean 
of 39.3% with 82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification 
and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 
end-use U.S. all-purpose load would be met with 30.9% onshore wind, 
19.1% offshore wind, 30.7% utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), 7.2% 
rooftop PV, 7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, 1.25% 
geothermal power, 0.37% wave power, 0.14% tidal power, and 3.01% 
hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid integration study, an 
additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads 
would be supplied by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, 
respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states, 
converting would provide 3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and 
2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for the energy facilities alone, 
the sum of which would outweigh the 3.9 million jobs lost in the 
conventional energy sector. Converting would also eliminate 62000 
(19000-115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities per year 
today and 46000 (12000-104000) in 2050, avoiding $600 ($85-$2400) 
bil. per year (2013 dollars) in 2050, equivalent to 3.6 (0.5-14.3) 
percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting would 
further eliminate $3.3 (1.9-7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global 
warming costs to the world due to U.S. emissions. These plans will 
result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving $260 (190-320) per 
year in energy costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global 
climate costs per person decreasing by $1500 (210-6000) per year and 
$8300 (4700-17600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over 
land required will be 0.42% of U.S. land. The spacing area between 
wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be 1.6% 
of U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically 
feasible with little downside. These roadmaps may therefore reduce 
social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies.

"The most likely way the climate could be influenced by either 
natural or artificial means seems to be through a trigger mechanism 
that ultimately changes the radiation balance .... the burning of 
fossil fuels would presumably lead to more absorption of long-wave 
terrestrial radiation in the atmosphere and consequently to greater 

Abraham Oort.  "The Energy Cycle of the Earth,"
Scientific American. September 1970
"The molecule of carbon dioxide has strong absorption bonds, 
particularly in the infrared region of the spectrum at wavelengths of 
from 12 to 18 microns. This is the spectral region where most of the 
thermal energy radiating from earth to space is concentrated. By 
increasing the absorption of this radiation ... the carbon dioxide 
reduces the amount of heat energy lost by earth to outer space."

Fred S. Singer, "Human Energy Production as a process in the biosphere,"
Scientific American, September 1970.

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