Happy to have contributed to the Climate Reality Blog, on a report released by the organization I work for, Renewable Energy Long Island.
100% Renewable — 100% Doable
09/10/2012 // 2:00 PM //
Source: Renewable Energy Long Island
This is a guest post by Beth Fiteni, Program Manager at Renewable Energy Long Island.When Al Gore challenged the nation in his famous 2008 speech to achieve 100% renewable electricity within 10 years, Gordian Raacke listened. As a Climate Reality Leader and executive director of the advocacy groupRenewable Energy Long Island (reLI), Gordian was already powering 100% of his home with solar energy. But he didn’t want to stop there.
He picked up on Mr. Gore’s challenge and wondered whether Long Island could meet the electricity needs of its 3 million people with renewable energy technologies available today. With funding from two foundations and supported by a coalition of organizations including national groups like 350.org, reLI hired Synapse Energy Economics to get some expert answers.
The result is the Long Island Clean Electricity Vision, which found that by 2020 it is possible to meet 100% of Long Island’s residential electricity needs from renewables, and by 2030 to have a 100% renewable, zero-carbon electricity supply. The study finds the cost to be modest: Average customer bills are estimated to increase by roughly 8-12%. On a typical household’s monthly utility bill, this amounts to between $12 and $18, or the price of a pizza.
Numerous other studies have come to similar conclusions for other regions. They include a 2012 National Renewable Energy Laboratory study for the entire U.S., aworldwide study by Jacobson and Delucchi (Stanford University), and a World Wildlife Fund study. Many cities, states, and countries already have goals for 100% renewable energy, and some are well on their way to meeting these goals. Examples include Scotland and Denmark, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Munich. Some have already done it, such as the Island of Samsø in Denmark.
The transition to clean energy presents a critical challenge, much like in 1961, when President Kennedy announced the ambitious goal of sending an American to the moon before the end of the decade. Aggressive energy efficiency efforts, offshore and land-based wind farms, solar and other technologies will need to be deployed on a large scale to replace fossil-fueled power plants. We now know that we can, and in fact must do this in order to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Gordian now hopes that the Long Island Clean Electricity Vision will serve as a model for other regions across the country, so that we will meet Al Gore’s challenge: 100% Renewables Now! See http://climaterealityproject.org/2012/09/10/100-renewable-100-doable/