We’ve looked at 139 countries representing more than 99% of all the emissions worldwide, and we find that by electrifying everything in all these countries and providing that electricity with clean renewable energy, power demand goes down about 42 percent without really changing many habits. For example, about 13% of all energy worldwide is used to mine, transport and refine fossil fuels.
By going to wind and water and solar to provide all your electricity you’re eliminating 13% of all energy right there. You get another 23% reduction in power demand because electricity is more efficient than combustion. For example, in an electric car, 80-85% of the electricity going into the car goes to move the car, and the rest is waste heat. However, for a gasoline car, only 17 to 20 percent of the energy and the gas then goes to move the car on the rest is waste heat.
By going to an electric car, you reduce your power demand for transportation by around 70 to 80 percent, but if you average over all sectors then that power demand reduction due to electrification is around 23 percent because other sectors aren’t so efficient as transportation. So you have 23 percent reduction in power demand due to the efficiency of electricity, you have around 13 percent due to the fact that you no longer need to mine, transport and refine fossil fuels and then you can get another 7 percent due to end-use energy efficiency improvements and reduce energy use beyond what’s expected. That totals around 42 percent reduction of power demand worldwide by electrifying and providing that electricity with clean renewable energy.
Why We Need Solar Energy Now?
We all know that climate change is a big problem. Clean energy, like solar, can help our planet and our economy. In the last five years in New England, power generated by solar panels has grown and the cost to install them has plummeted.
- The more energy we get from the sun, the less we need from expensive polluting power plants. And, extra electricity from your neighbor’s panels can be sold back to the grid to power your home, too. That means your electricity costs less because it’s already right here. Plus, selling extra solar energy back to the grid, called net metering, makes it, even more, affordable to install solar panels.
- More solar means less air pollution, fewer climate-damaging emissions, and cheaper electricity bills for all plus lots of new local jobs. Sounds like a win-win, right? But there’s one big problem: Even though we know that solar energy makes sense, needless barriers stand in its way.
- Like legislation that limits how much extra energy a family or business can sell back to the grid. Who stands to gain from these obstacles? Those who profit from the status quo the big utility, oil, and gas companies’ climate change is urgent. We don’t have time to wait. We need to fight for solar now for today and for future generations.