Links to literature on clean energy options

References to literature on renewable electricity and sustainable energy options more broadly.

Last updated January 2019

Please advise of other useful studies, dead links etc.


  1. Australia ‒ Renewables Growth, Wind, Solar
  2. Australian Deep Emissions Cuts Studies
  3. Australia ‒ Information Sources on Renewables (and energy efficiency etc.)
  4. Economics of Renewable Energy in Australia
  5. Renewable Energy Jobs in Australia
  6. South Australia
  7. Responses to Anti-Renewables Propagandists and Paid Lobbyists
  8. Global Growth of Renewables
  9. Economics of Global Renewables
  10. International Deep Emissions Cuts Studies
  11. International Deep Emissions Cuts Studies ‒ Mark Jacobson / Stanford Research
  12. Other International Literature
  13. Country Studies
  14. Countries with High Percentages of Power from Renewables
  15. Canada
  16. China
  17. Europe
  18. India
  19. Japan
  20. USA


Australia could be at 86% wind and solar by 2050 – on economics only

Giles Parkinson, 10 July 2018

Australia could source 86 per cent of its electricity from wind and solar by 2050, based on economics only and regardless of any climate or emissions policy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The global research and news group says that level of wind and solar could be reached quicker, and will need to in order to match the Paris climate target of 2°C, let alone 1.5°C, but the transition to wind and solar is inevitable.

See also this article in The Age.

Powering Progress: States Renewable Energy Race

Climate Council of Australia, 16 October 2018

The renewable energy boom is accelerating in Australia, and across the world. In the absence of meaningful commonwealth government leadership, state and territory governments are leading Australia’s electricity transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and storage.

This report rates states and territories based on their performance across a range of metrics. These include each state’s percentage of renewable electricity, the proportion of households with solar and policies that support renewable energy.

Australia at 19% renewables – NEG 2030 target to be reached in 2021

Giles Parkinson, 6 July 2018

Australia’s electricity grid reached a 19 per cent share of renewable energy in the year to June 30, and with a host of new wind and solar capacity to be added in the next two years will meet its 2030 target for emissions in the electricity sector nine years early.

The latest analysis from The Australia Institute, in its regular energy market audit, is just the latest in a string of reports that highlight how ineffective the Coalition government’s emissions target are.

Clean Energy Australia renewables jobs and investment data – 2018

Renewable energy sources accounted for 16.94% of electricity generation in Australia in 2017, comprising hydro 5.74%, wind 5.72%, small-scale solar-PV 3.43%, bioenergy 1.65%, other solar 0.41%.

Renewables percentage contribution to total electricity generation: Tasmania 88%, SA 45%, Vic 16%, WA 14%, NSW 11%, Qld 8%.

Renewables smash records in 2017, but 2018/19 will be bigger

Sophie Vorrath, 30 May 2018

The Clean Energy Council has detailed a year of remarkable deal-making and record-smashing project activity in Australia’s large-scale solar and wind sectors in its latest annual snapshot of the national clean energy market.

Clean Energy Australia Report 2018

Looks back at a 2017 when 16 large-scale renewable energy project, totalling around 700MW of new generation capacity, were completed and connected to the National Electricity Market.

Among those, four large-scale solar projects were completed in 2017, taking Australia’s total installed large-scale solar capacity to 450MW at the end of the year, from just 34 MW at the end of 2014.

For the wind sector, the 547MW of new capacity added in 2017 was the third highest amount added in the history of the Australian industry, bringing total generation capacity across the country to 4816MW. …

And while 2017 was a record year, CEC chief Kane Thornton says it is “just a glimpse” of what is shaping up to be an unprecedented level of activity in the next couple of years.

“Perhaps most significantly, the large-scale renewable projects either under construction or which had attracted finance add up to more than seven times the amount of work completed in 2017,” he said in comments at the launch of the 2018 report.

“These 50 projects add up to 5300MW of new capacity and 5750 direct jobs.”

Australia can supply 50 per cent of its power needs from clean energy by 2030

Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser, 15 Feb 2018

AUSTRALIA could reach 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 without significant new storage, given the projects in the pipeline in the state, a new report shows.

The Climate Council report found that the country was on the verge of an energy storage boom because the cost of lithium-ion batteries was rapidly dropping. Despite wind and solar PV already comprising 57 per cent of power generated in South Australia, the report found that renewables produce just 16 per cent of the national electricity supply.

Climate Council energy expert Professor Andrew Stock said the transition to renewable energy and storage was inevitable and happening now. He criticised the “lack of ambition” in the Federal Government’s National Energy Guarantee and said it placed the renewables and storage boom at risk.

Solar installs through the roof, as Australians deliver record growth

Sophie Vorrath, 18 January 2018

Extraordinary figures continue to roll in from the year that was for renewable energy in Australia, but easily the most outstanding so far are the numbers – and “eye watering charts” – that have just come in on national solar PV installations for 2017.

The latest tally from PV market analysts SunWiz has revealed a record smashing total so far of 1.25GW of solar PV installed across 2017, making it out and away the biggest year for the market in Australia ever, eclipsing the former record set in 2012.

Renewables record: solar and wind power blow gas out of the water
16 October 2017

Solar and wind powered more homes than ever before last month and produced more energy than gas, the latest Renewable Energy Index shows. Solar and wind combined generated a record high of 2,363 GWh of electricity, compared with 2,186 GWh for gas.
The analysis, compiled by Green Energy Markets, reveals renewable energy from all sources made up 21.9% of electricity generated on Australia’s main grids — avoiding the equivalent of 9.3 million cars-worth of carbon pollution.
The Index also shows the renewable energy sector employed 17,521 people throughout September, with Queensland again coming out on top with 6,810 renewable jobs.

Record year for renewable energy as costs fall and hydro returns to form

30 May 2017

A record share of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2016, largely thanks to improved rainfall in key hydro catchments and a series of new wind and solar projects, according to a new report released today by the Clean Energy Council.
The Clean Energy Australia Report 2016 says more than 17 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy during the year – the highest proportion at any time this century, putting Australia well on track to deliver the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Surge in renewables set to balance Australia’s future energy equation

Brian Robins, 29 June 2017

Australia’s energy future will be increasingly reliant on renewable energy sources, with the operator of the nation’s energy markets conceding that even with a forecast 30 per cent rise in population over the next two decades the amount of energy travelling across the grid will be little changed.

Central to the forecast from the Australian Energy Markets Operator, which runs the nation’s wholesale gas and electricity markets, is the view that more households will install rooftop solar systems as their prices decline, amid an ongoing trend towards installing more energy efficient appliances.

Australian solar capacity now 6GW, to double again by 2020

Giles Parkinson, 27 April 2017

Australia’s total solar power capacity has reached 6GW and is expected to double over the next few years as Australian households continue to invest in rooftop panels to reduce electricity bills, and the large-scale solar sector takes off after years of promise.

The latest industry analysis on installed capacity – released by the Australian Photovoltaic Institute – shows that rooftop solar capacity has now reached 5.6GW and large-scale solar capacity is now at 496 MW, and growing fast.

Renewable Energy Options for Australian Industrial Gas Users

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has recently published a major report on options for renewable energy to replace gas in industry.

ARENA, Sept 2015, ‘Renewable Energy Options for Australian Industrial Gas Users’, prepared by IT Power for ARENA.

‘Towards the next generation: delivering affordable, secure and lower emissions power’

Climate Change Authority and Australian Energy Market Commission

1 June 2017

Report webpage or PDF of full report.

Description: The Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, asked the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the Climate Change Authority to jointly provide advice on policies to enhance power system security and to reduce electricity prices consistent with achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets in the Paris Agreement. In developing its advice, the Authority and the AEMC were asked to draw on existing analysis and review processes and be informed by independent modelling. This report outlines the AEMC and the Authority’s findings on these important matters.

Australia’s energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation. This change is being driven by new technologies, business models and consumer preferences. It also reflects the intent of governments (particularly the Commonwealth Government as well as the state and territories) to reduce emissions from energy generation to meet emissions reduction targets or, in some cases, to support renewable technology industries.


Business Council of Australia

The Business Council of Australia’s 2020 report argues for a rapid, renewables-led decarbonisation. This is an extraordinary and welcome turn-around given the BCA’s former role as energy troglodytes. The report is online.

How to run the National Electricity Market on 96 per cent renewables

David Osmond, 3 March 2020, RenewEconomy,

Windlab has conducted a simulation of a 96% renewable national electricity market (NEM). The goal of the study was to show that very high renewable penetration levels can be achieved by expanding wind and solar generation, which is firmed by existing hydro and readily achievable levels of storage. It differs from other 100% renewable studies as it is based primarily on actual wind, solar and demand data from AEMO. Other studies have relied on simulated data. …

To summarise, this study has indicated that a very high penetration rate of renewables on the NEM is possible with readily achievable levels of storage and interconnector upgrades.

100% Renewable Electricity in Australia

Andrew Blakers, Bin Lu and Matthew Stocks (Australian National University), February 2017, ‘100% Renewable Electricity in Australia’.

Abstract: We present an energy balance analysis of the Australian national electricity market in a 100% renewable energy scenario in which wind and photovoltaics (PV) provides 90% of the annual electricity. The key outcome of our modelling is that the additional cost of balancing renewable energy supply with demand on an hourly basis throughout the year is modest: A$25-30/MWh (US$19-23/MWh).

For a summary article click here.

100 percent renewable energy by 2030

November 2017

Australia can have an electricity grid entirely run by renewable energy by 2030, according to a new research paper by Renew, formerly the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

The paper, 100% Renewable Grid by 2030, says the target can be achieved by accelerating the installation of wind and solar power by 80% backed up by pumped hydro energy storage facilities and extra transmission lines.

Lead author Andrew Reddaway, energy analyst at Renew, said reaching full renewable energy by 2030 was cheaper and less risky than building new coal-fired power stations.

Renew’s forecasts towards a fully renewable grid in the national electricity market are based on recent research by the Australian National University. The paper considered recent trends and developments in projects such as Snow Hydro 2.0

Read the report 100% Renewable Grid by 2030.

Summary article here.

Australia could be 100% renewable by 2030s, meet Paris targets by 2025

Sophie Vorrath, 10 September 2018

Australia could reach the equivalent of 100 per cent renewables for its electricity needs by the early 2030s by doing nothing more than maintaining the current pace of wind and solar development, a new research report has found.

The report – published by a heavy-hitting team of Australian National University researchers, including solar PV and pumped hydro expert Andrew Blakers – says keeping up the current rate of renewable energy deployment would also meet Australia’s entire emissions reduction task “for the whole economy” by 2025.

To reach these conclusions, the team analysed data for the federal government’s own Clean Energy Regulator, showing that during 2018 and 2019 the nation would install about 10,400MW of new renewable energy.

ANU Energy Change Institute director Professor Ken Baldwin said that at that rate, Australia would eclipse the Renewable Energy Target, reaching 29 per cent in 2020, and by 2025 would reach 50 per cent – a number the federal Coalition likes to say is “recklessly high”, even for 2030.

Perhaps even more importantly, staying on the current trajectory would see electricity sector emissions reduced by 26 per cent in 2021, and the Paris economy-wide emissions reductions target of 26 per cent met five years early, in 2025. …

The ANU forecast compares to recent modelling from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which shows renewables making up 46 per cent of NEM generation by 2030 in their “neutral scenario”, and 61 per cent of generation by 2030 in their “fast change” scenario.

ANU report here and article by ANU scientists here.

New report shows 100% renewable by 2030 can save Australia money

Giles Parkinson, 19 April 2016, RenewEconomy

A new report from the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Sydney says a rapid transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy system can save Australia money – with avoided fuel costs to quickly offset the extra capital expenditure of building wind, solar and other renewable energy installations.

“The transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050 is both technically possible and economically viable in the long term,” the report says. And by 100 per cent renewable, it means all energy use, including transport and heating.

The report canvasses two renewable energy scenarios, one based on a high level of renewable energy in the electricity grid, but with transport largely reliant on fossil fuels. The second is the Advanced Renewables scenario, which canvasses a totally renewable electricity system by 2030 and a fully renewable energy system by 2050.

Australians can have zero-emission electricity, without blowing the bill

6 Dec 2016

Paul Graham ‒ Chief economist, CSIRO energy

In a report released by CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia ‒ titled Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap Key Concepts Report ‒ we show that Australia is so far making rocky progress on reducing emissions, maintaining energy security and keeping prices low. But we also show how Australia can regain world leadership, delivering cheap electricity with zero emissions by 2050.

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) reports

Beyond Zero Emissions, 2015, ‘Zero Carbon Australia: Renewable Energy Superpower‘,

Beyond Zero Emissions, 2010, ‘Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan‘.

Other Beyond Zero Emissions’ reports posted at

Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Australia

ClimateWorks Australia, 2014, ‘Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Australia’.

Report webpage and PDF

Australian Energy Market Operator, July 2013, ‘100 Per Cent Renewables Study ‒ Modelling Outcomes’

The modelling undertaken presents results for four selected cases, two scenarios at two years, 2030 and 2050. The first scenario is based on rapid technology transformation and moderate economic growth while the second scenario is based on moderate technology transformation and high economic growth. The modelling includes the generation mix, transmission requirements, and hypothetical costs for each.

Media reports here, here, here and here.

University of New South Wales Simulation Study (2012)

Ben Elliston, Mark Diesendorf and Iain MacGill, 2012, ‘Simulations of scenarios with 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market’, Energy Policy, vol. 45, pp.606-613


As a part of a program to explore technological options for the transition to a renewable energy future, we present simulations for 100% renewable energy systems to meet actual hourly electricity demand in the five states and one territory spanned by the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) in 2010. The system is based on commercially available technologies: concentrating solar thermal (CST) power with thermal storage, wind, photovoltaic (PV), existing hydro and biofuelled gas turbines. Hourly solar and wind generation data are derived from satellite observations, weather stations, and actual wind farm outputs. Together CST and PV contribute about half of total annual electrical energy supply.

A range of 100% renewable energy systems for the NEM are found to be technically feasible and meet the NEM reliability standard. The principal challenge is meeting peak demand on winter evenings following overcast days when CST storage is partially charged and sometimes wind speeds are low. The model handles these circumstances by combinations of an increased number of gas turbines and reductions in winter peak demand. There is no need for conventional base-load power plants. The important parameter is the reliability of the whole supply-demand system, not the reliability of particular types of power plants.


We simulate 100% renewable electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market.

The energy system comprises commercially available technologies.

A range of 100% renewable electricity systems meet the reliability standard.

Principal challenge is meeting peak demand on winter evenings.

The concept of ‘base-load’ power plants is found to be redundant.


The Renewable Energy Index tracks the amount of renewable energy in Australia, the jobs it’s creating, the power bill savings it is delivering for Australian households, and the environmental benefits of the rising use of clean power. It’s updated every month by Green Energy Markets’ and funded by GetUp.

Clean Energy Council

RenewEconomy ‒ subscribe to the free daily e-newsletter

Yes 2 Renewables is Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s campaign for 100 per cent renewable energy.

University of NSW academics – numerous reports and articles:

Australian Government – Department of the Environment and Energy

See the topics page – e.g. renewable energyenergyenergy efficiencyenergy marketsNational Electricity Market review


Climate Change Authority

Australian Energy Market Commission

CSIRO ‒ Renewables and energy

Energy Efficiency Council

Solar Citizens

Solar Calculator (estimate cost savings by installing solar)

Alternative Technology Association

Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets

See esp. the publications page

Energy Strategies (EnerStrat)

Climate Action Network of Australia


Renewables to be cheaper than coal even without climate policy, CSIRO says

2 January 2019

The CSIRO and the energy market operator say existing coal plants are still one of the lowest cost forms of power but new wind and solar farms will soon be cheaper, even without a carbon price.

Australia solar costs hit “extraordinary” new lows – $50s/MWh

Sophie Vorrath & Giles Parkinson, 27 June 2018

The cost of building new large-scale solar energy generation in Australia has fallen to an “extraordinary” new low, the head of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has said, citing industry reports of numbers down around the $50/MWh mark.

Australia’s PV price plunge has seen the cost of utility-scale solar fall from around $135/MWh when ARENA launched its first auction in 2015, to “somewhere in the $50s” today, or $1/W, ARENA chief Ian Kay said on Wednesday.

Wind and solar slashing corporate energy costs by 40%
Giles Parkinson, 1 June 2018

The continuing fall in the cost of new wind and solar farms, and the emergence of new firming contract products, is allowing large corporate and industrial users to slash energy costs by up to 40 per cent.

TFS Green, a Melbourne-based wholesale energy and environmental market broker, is on Friday launching its new “Renewable Energy Hub”, a day after the formal announcement of its first transaction with the Kiamal solar farm and Mars Australia.

TFS Greens’s Chris Halliwell says wind and solar is clearly delivering electricity at a 40 per cent discount from what is available to medium and large users elsewhere on the grid.

That assessment is shared by Sanjeev Gupta and his team at SIMEC ZEN Energy, which is looking at similar savings from building a massive suite of large-scale solar, pumped hydro and battery storage to power the Whyalla steelworks and other big energy users.

A cost curve for emissions reductions & energy storage

Reputex, March 2017, ‘An Energy Trilemma: A cost curve for emissions reductions & energy storage in the Australian electricity sector’

See media release and report summary.

From the media release:

  • The rising price of gas, coupled with the falling cost of energy storage, has now made renewable energy storage cheaper than gas-fired power in providing reliable generation, such as instantaneous peaking or load-following supply.
  • Flexible renewable supply – such as a solar plant with battery storage that can ramp up even if the sun is not shining – is expected to create a decreasing need for “baseload-only” facilities, enabling states to rely on storage to overcome intermittency concerns and provide clean, reliable supply – at least cost.
  • Notably, findings also indicate “clean coal” will not be commercially mature before 2030, meaning it will not contribute to Australia’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement.

From the report summary:

Key findings include:

  • Demand reduction via the take-up of solar PV has the lowest marginal cost of emissions reductions in the electricity sector, in line with an anticipated drop in capital costs, and continued availability of financing.
  • “Clean coal” such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and High Efficiency, Low Emissions” (HELE) coal is not forecast to be commercially mature until at least 2025. Subsequently, clean coal is projected to have a limited impact in support of Australia’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement.
  • New low cost: Wind is displacing existing generation, causing existing facilities to generate less energy, recover revenue less frequency, and exit the market. As this occurs, system reliability has become an issue, most noticeably where intermittent generation has a high penetration rate, given it does not necessarily coincide with peak demand (timing) and cannot be easily ramped up to follow a load forecast (controllability).
  • Intermittent technologies do not provide the same contribution to system reliability as dispatched technologies, and may therefore require additional system investment (for example in storage) to ensure guaranteed supply.
  • Analysing the “full cost” of renewables, with energy storage, raises the cost recovery for low-cost intermittent generators significantly above their LCOE, however, findings indicate that on a like-for-like basis clean energy is now cheaper than gas-fired generation, driven by higher gas prices and falling storage technology costs.
  • Renewables with energy storage have therefore surpassed gas as the cheapest source of new flexible power in Australia, with analysis indicating these sources may alleviate system pressure by providing load-following and peaking generation services.
  • Analysis indicates that this will create a decreasing need for baseload-only facilities, while enabling South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales to rely on new storage technologies to provide affordable, clean, and secure energy – while improving system reliability.

Wind energy’s biggest month, and how it keeps prices down

Giles Parkinson, 8 June 2016

Wind energy in Australia has enjoyed its biggest every month in May, producing nearly a quarter more electricity than its previous record month, and overtaking hydro to provide 8.5 per cent of electricity demand in the country’s main grid.

The record output came, coincidentally, in the same month that the last coal fired power station in South Australia was closed (May 9). And a new analysis from energy consultants Pitt & Sherry points to how wind generation is keeping a lid on wholesale electricity prices.

The Pitt & Sherry analysis notes that four states recorded record monthly totals in May – South Australia (where wind met 49 per cent of demand), Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. (There is only one very small wind farm in Queensland and Western Australia operates on a separate grid).

How rooftop solar is saving billions on energy bills for all consumers

Giles Parkinson, 16 October 2017

A major new study has underlined the crucial role played by rooftop solar in moderating energy prices: without it, the study says, the aggregate cost of electricity would have been several billion dollars higher over the past year.

The study by Energy Synapse, commissioned by the community lobby group Solar Citizens, reinforces previous estimates of the broad benefits of the more than 6GW of rooftop solar installed on more than 1.7 million household and business rooftops.

That capacity is often demonised by vested interests as “free-loading” on the network and other consumers, but the study proves otherwise.

Cheap wind, solar will make Australia a magnet ‒ Bloomberg

Ben Potter, 15 June 2017

Cheap wind and solar power will make Australia a magnet for energy-intensive industries such as smelting again within a decade or two, reversing the current trend for large smelters to back off production or threaten closure because of soaring electricity prices, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says in its 2017 Outlook.

Prices for solar PV rooftop panels, wind power and batteries will fall rapidly and quickly undercut coal and gas power, driving rapid uptake of these “distributed energy” technologies and making Australia one of the most decentralised energy markets in the world with a massive 45 per cent of power capacity “behind the meter” by 2040.

Small-scale PV will be the largest single source of generation capacity by 2040, with 44 gigawatts ‒ 31 per cent of the mix. Solar PV will “take the place of coal as the backbone of the national energy supply”, BNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2017 says.

Batteries in homes and business premises will supply another 15GW, helping to stabilise the grid at times of peak demand through “demand response” as coal supplies a diminishing share of demand. It projects that levelised (all in) costs of wind power will fall from $US57/MWh ($76/MWh) today to $US33/MWh in 2040, and solar PV will plummet from $US71/MWh today to $US26/MWh in 2040.

The solar PV boom will be joined by a boom in batteries, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook 2017 projects Bloomberg New Energy Finance, New Energy Outlook 2017

Wind and solar already significantly undercut the cost of power from new coal plant ‒ which BNEF estimates at $US94-172/MWh ‒ and by 2023 will undercut the cost of power from refurbished coal plant.

Solar’s new sweet spot: Low cost, compact PV plants at $1/watt

Giles Parkinson, 22 June 2017

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the big boom in large scale solar in Australia over the past nine months, with more than 2.4GW under construction across the country, and another 8GW in the pipeline, by RenewEconomy’s estimates.

The focus has been on the big end of this construction boom, but something interesting is happening at the smaller end of the market – the emergence of quick-to-build, compact MW scale solar plants that are redefining the technology’s economics.

The majority of large scale solar plants are slowed down by connection issues and getting a power purchase agreement and finance. But there has been no such inhibition for YD Projects, which this week completed the first of a number of solar projects on the NSW/Queensland border.


Wind farms power big surge in renewable energy jobs

Cole Latimer, 25 January 2018

A boom in wind farms is fuelling a jobs surge in the renewable energy industry with 17 per cent employment growth in the sector in December.

Nationwide, there are now 15,691 renewable energy jobs, rising to 21,168 when including those in small-scale rooftop solar installation. This is a 17 per cent month on month increase from November job figures. …

Renewables delivering – despite enemies and “lukewarm defenders”

Tristan Edis, 28 August 2017

Today Green Energy Markets has released the Renewable Energy Index, which is a monthly publication tracking: the amount of power produced from renewable energy; the jobs it’s creating; the power bill savings it is delivering for Australian households and businesses; and the environmental benefits of the rising use of clean power.

The story is an impressive one. At the end of June, large-scale renewable energy projects under construction were estimated to create enough jobs to employ 8,868 people full-time for a year. Then in our July edition it had grown by more than a thousand to 9,897 job-years (a person employed full time for a year) thanks to the commitment of a further seven projects.

On top of this we estimate almost 4,000 people were employed full-time in installation, design and sales of rooftop solar systems over the 2016-17 financial year. Renewable energy has now grown to 17 per cent of our power supply across the main east and west coast grids, up from about 7 per cent 10 years ago.

Renewables record: solar and wind power blow gas out of the water
16 October 2017

Solar and wind powered more homes than ever before last month and produced more energy than gas, the latest Renewable Energy Index shows. Solar and wind combined generated a record high of 2,363 GWh of electricity, compared with 2,186 GWh for gas.
The analysis, compiled by Green Energy Markets, reveals renewable energy from all sources made up 21.9% of electricity generated on Australia’s main grids — avoiding the equivalent of 9.3 million cars-worth of carbon pollution.
The Index also shows the renewable energy sector employed 17,521 people throughout September, with Queensland again coming out on top with 6,810 renewable jobs.

Climate Council, June 2016, ‘Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth’ report

Report webpage or PDF of full report.

Moving to 50% renewables by 2030 would create more than 28,000 jobs nationally, new research by Ernst & Young (EY) and the Climate Council has found.

The Renewable Energy: Future Jobs and Growth report finds that 50% renewable electricity by 2030 will create almost 50% more employment than our business as usual trajectory.

The research uses EY modelling to project the employment outcomes of 50% renewable electricity by 2030. Climate Councillor and energy expert Andrew Stock said every state would gain many more jobs than it would lose.

Climate Institute ‒ Clean Energy Jobs

The website has an interactive digital map presenting the findings of a study into the potential national, state and regional employment impacts of this shift to a clean, low-pollution energy sources.

See also the 2011 national report


South Australia on track to meet 75% renewables target

25 July 2018

South Australia’s energy minister says the state is on track to have 75% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 – the target set by the former Labor premier Jay Weatherill and once rejected by his Liberal government. … The Australian Energy Market Operator has projected South Australia would have 73% renewable power by 2020/21 while consultants Green Energy Markets found it could reach 74% by 2025 without any additional policies being introduced.

SA Climate Change Strategy

A new Climate Change Strategy for South Australia was released by Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter on 29 November 2015. South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 – Towards a low carbon economy sets a framework for significantly reducing emissions in SA while maximising economic opportunities.

SA Low Carbon Economy Experts Panel

South Australia’s Low Carbon Economy Experts Panel, Nov. 2015, Findings and Recommendations.

As a result of its assessment, the Panel found that it is feasible for South Australia to achieve a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and that a commitment to this target will position South Australia well in a low carbon world.

The modelling for the Panel did not include consideration of whether the nuclear and carbon capture and storage scenarios modelled at the national level are a cost-effective means to move to low carbon electricity for South Australia. The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways modelling found that nuclear power stations generally need to be of a certain size to be cost effective and thus precluded their consideration for use in smaller States such as South Australia. In addition, South Australia’s capacity for cost-effective carbon capture and storage is unknown.

Climate Institute ‒ Clean Energy Jobs: South Australia Snapshot (c.2011)

Some highlights of the South Australia study include:

‒ A large untapped resource: The modelling results show strong growth in South Australia’s electricity sector, with an additional 5,400 MW of generating capacity projected to be installed by 2030. This includes renewable energy, including wind, solar and geothermal, as well as gas.

‒ State-wide employment: Based on the modelling results it is estimated that close to 5,000 new jobs will be created in South Australia’s electricity sector by 2030, including 1,089 permanent ongoing jobs, 2,688 construction jobs and 1,189 manufacturing jobs. The vast majority of these jobs will be in renewable energy.

‒ Regional clean energy jobs: Thousands of jobs are up for grabs in regional South Australia, including over 1,200 on the Eyre Peninsula and over 1,300 in the York and Lower North region.

AEMO sees South Australia at 73% renewables by 2020/21

Giles Parkinson, 2 March 2018

The Australian Energy Market Operator has predicted, in a document published in December, that – based largely on the federal renewable energy target – it expects South Australia to reach 73% renewable energy by 2020/21. It goes further. It says that SA will likely reach between 75% and 80% renewable energy share by 2026/27, depending on the policy pathway.

Nicky Ison / Solar Citizens, 2017, ‘Repowering South Australia’

See also the related article in RenewEconomy:

South Australia should aim for 100% renewables by 2025, not 50%

Dan Spencer, 8 February 2018

Solar Citizens worked with Nicky Ison from the Community Power Agency on a new blueprint called Repowering South Australia, which not only shows how South Australia can get to 100% renewables by 2025, but also how we can ensure nobody is left behind along the way.


Greenpeace: Renewable Energy Myths: 6 Myths About Renewable Energy, Blown Away

The Feasibility Of 100% Renewable Electricity Systems: A Response To Critics

Diesendorf M, Elliston B, October 2018, The Feasibility Of 100% Renewable Electricity Systems: A Response To Critics, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 93:318-330


  • Large-scale electricity systems based on 100% renewable energy can meet the key requirements of reliability, security and affordability.
  • This is even true where the vast majority of generation comes from variable renewables such as wind and solar PV.
  • Thus the principal myths of critics of 100% renewable electricity are refuted.
  • Arguments that the transition to 100% renewable electricity will necessarily take as long or longer than historical energy transitions are also refuted.
  • The principal barriers to 100% renewable electricity are neither technological nor economic, but instead are primarily political, institutional and cultural.


The rapid growth of renewable energy (RE) is disrupting and transforming the global energy system, especially the electricity industry. As a result, supporters of the politically powerful incumbent industries and others are critiquing the feasibility of large-scale electricity generating systems based predominantly on RE. Part of this opposition is manifest in the publication of incorrect myths about renewable electricity (RElec) in scholarly journals, popular articles, media, websites, blogs and statements by politicians. The aim of the present article is to use current scientific and engineering theory and practice to refute the principal myths. It does this by showing that large-scale electricity systems that are 100% renewable (100RElec), including those whose renewable sources are predominantly variable (e.g. wind and solar PV), can be readily designed to meet the key requirements of reliability, security and affordability. It also argues that transition to 100RElec could occur much more rapidly than suggested by historical energy transitions. It finds that the main critiques published in scholarly articles and books contain factual errors, questionable assumptions, important omissions, internal inconsistencies, exaggerations of limitations and irrelevant arguments. Some widely publicised critiques select criteria that are inappropriate and/or irrelevant to the assessment of energy technologies, ignore studies whose results contradict arguments in the critiques, and fail to assess the sum total of knowledge provided collectively by the published studies on 100RElec, but instead demand that each individual study address all the critiques’ inappropriate criteria. We find that the principal barriers to 100RElec are neither technological nor economic, but instead are primarily political, institutional and cultural.

See also this article drawing on the above study: Giles Parkinson, 19 June 2018, ‘The Fake Arguments Against 100% Renewable Energy‘,

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?

New article gathers the evidence to address the sceptics

Public release ‒ 17 May 2018

Lappeenranta University of Technology

Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts?

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues. The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer each of the apparent issues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future.

“While several of the issues raised by the Heard paper are important, you have to realise that there are technical solutions to all the points they raised, using today’s technology,” says the lead author of the response, Dr. Tom Brown of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

“Furthermore, these solutions are absolutely affordable, especially given the sinking costs of wind and solar power,” says Professor Christian Breyer of Lappeenranta University of Technology, who co-authored the response.

Brown cites the worst-case solution of hydrogen or synthetic gas produced with renewable electricity for times when imports, hydroelectricity, batteries, and other storage fail to bridge the gap during low wind and solar periods during the winter. For maintaining stability there is a series of technical solutions, from rotating grid stabilisers to newer electronics-based solutions. The scientists have collected examples of best practice by grid operators from across the world, from Denmark to Tasmania.

Furthermore, these solutions are absolutely affordable, especially given the sinking costs of wind and solar power.

The response by the scientists has now appeared in the same journal as the original article by Heard and colleagues.

“There are some persistent myths that 100% renewable systems are not possible,” says Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen of Aalborg University, who is a co-author of the response.

“Our contribution deals with these myths one-by-one, using all the latest research. Now let’s get back to the business of modelling low-cost scenarios to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy system, so we can tackle the climate and health challenges they pose.”

The research papers for further information:

‒‒ T.W. Brown, T. Bischof-Niemz, K. Blok, C. Breyer, H. Lund, B.V. Mathiesen, 2018 “Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2018.04.113,

‒‒ B.P. Heard, B.W. Brook, T.M.L. Wigley, C.J.A. Bradshaw, “Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2017.03.114, 2017.,


Renewables 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022

International Energy Agency, 2017, ‘Renewables 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022’, Executive Summary

See also: Jocelyn Timperley, 4 Oct 2017, ‘IEA: Renewable electricity set to grow 40% globally by 2022

2016: Another Record Year for Renewables

A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2017, states that global renewable electricity generation capacity (including hydro) increased by 161 gigawatts (GW) in 2016, making it the strongest year ever for new capacity additions.

International Renewable Energy Agency, 2017, ‘Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2017’

A Whole New World: Tracking the Renewables Boom from Copenhagen to Paris

Climate Council (Australia) ‒ 2015 ‒ Renewable energy is rapidly becoming the preferred choice for new electricity generation across the globe, our latest report has revealed. ‘A Whole New World: Tracking the Renewables Boom from Copenhagen to Paris’ reveals how the world is in the midst of a dramatic energy revolution.


Unsubsidised wind and solar now cheapest form of bulk energy

Giles Parkinson, 20 November 2018

The unsubsidised cost of wind and solar now beats coal as the cheapest form of bulk generation in all major economies except Japan, according to the latest levellised cost of electricity analysis by leading energy analyst BloombergNEF.

The latest report says the biggest news comes in the two fastest growing energy markets, China and India, where it notes that “not so long ago coal was king”. Not any more.

“In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants,” the report says, and this is despite the recent imposition of import tariffs on solar cells and modules.

The China experience is also significant. While local authorities have put a brake on local installations, causing the domestic market to slump by one third in 2018, this has created a “global wave of cheap equipment” that has more than compensated for increased financing costs caused by rising interest rates.

The cost of battery storage is also falling – so much so that in countries like Australia and India, pairing unsubsidised wind and solar with four hours of battery storage can be cost competitive with new coal or gas plants.


Abstracts of 47 peer-reviewed published journal articles from 13 independent research groups with 91 different authors supporting the result that energy for electricity, transportation, building, heating/cooling, and/or industry can be supplied reliably with 100% or near-100% renewable energy at difference locations worldwide

Climate News Network reported:

Virtually all the world’s demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century.

This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups with a total of 91 authors that have been brought together by Stanford University in California.

Some of the papers take a broad sweep across the world, adding together the potential for each technology to see if individual countries or whole regions could survive on renewables.

Special examinations of small island states, sub-Saharan Africa and individual countries like Germany look to see what are the barriers to progress and how they could be removed.

In every case the findings are that the technology exists to achieve 100% renewable power if the political will to achieve it can be mustered.

“It seems that every part of the world can now find a system that edges fossil fuels out in costs”

The collection of papers is a powerful rebuff to those who say that renewables are not reliable or cannot be expanded fast enough to take over from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Once proper energy efficiency measures are in place, a combination of wind, solar and water power, with various forms of storage capacity, can add up to 100% of energy needs in every part of the planet.

Stanford puts one of its own papers at the top of the list. It studies the impacts of the Green New Deal proposals on grid stability, costs, jobs, health and climate in 143 countries.

With the world already approaching 1.5°C of heating, it says, seven million people killed by air pollution annually, and limited fossil fuel resources potentially sparking conflict, Stanford’s researchers wanted to compare business-as-usual with a 100% transition to wind-water-solar energy, efficiency and storage by 2050 – with at least 80% by 2030.

By grouping the countries of the world together into 24 regions co-operating on grid stability and storage solutions, supply could match demand by 2050-2052 with 100% reliance on renewables. The amount of energy used overall would be reduced by 57.1%, costs would fall by a similar amount, and 28.6 million more long-term full-time jobs would be created than under business-as-usual.

The remarkable consensus among researchers is perhaps surprising, since climate and weather conditions differ so much in different latitudes. It seems though that as the cost of renewables, particularly wind and solar, has tumbled, and energy storage solutions multiplied, every part of the world can now find a system that edges fossil fuels out in costs.

That, plus the benefit of clean air, particularly in Asian countries like India and China, makes renewables far more beneficial on any cost-benefit analysis.

The appearance of so many papers mirrors the consensus that climate scientists have managed to achieve in warning the world’s political leaders that time is running out for them to act to keep the temperature below dangerous levels.

Since in total the solutions offered cover countries producing more than 97% of the world’s greenhouse gases, they provide a blueprint for the next round of UN climate talks, to be held in Glasgow in November. At COP-26, as the conference is called, politicians will be asked to make new commitments to avoid dangerous climate change.

This Stanford file shows them that all they need is political will for them to be able to achieve climate stability.


An article published in Energy in May 2019 found that 180 studies on 100% renewables had been published since 2004. The authors of that paper say that six months later the number has jumped to 280.

How rapidly can we transition to 100% renewable electricity?

Mark Diesendorf, 21 June 2018

This article focuses on the transition of the electricity industry to 100% renewable electricity together with energy efficiency.

Vaclav Smil, an expert on historical energy transitions, argues in his book that ‘the process of restructuring the modern high-energy industrial and postindustrial civilization on the basis of nonfossil, that is, overwhelmingly renewable, energy flows will be much more challenging that [sic] was replacing wood by coal and then coal by hydrocarbons.’

To question Smil’s conclusions it’s sufficient to refute the assumptions underlying his key arguments.

A more extensive critique, in Section 6 of our recent peer-reviewed paper ‘The feasibility of 100% renewable electricity’, is available free upon request from

FoE International Report: An Energy Revolution Is Possible

A report by Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), launched a week before the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris, estimates that it would take US$5,148 billion of extra investment to generate half the world’s electricity with 100% renewables by 2030. No small amount, but to put it in perspective, FoEI points out that this is an investment equal to the wealth currently held by 0.00001% of the global population, or 782 people.

This means that the personal fortunes of the 782 wealthiest people on the planet – many of them CEOs of major corporations – could power Africa, Latin America and most of Asia with 100% renewable energy by 2030. The wealth of the richest 53 people globally could power the whole of Africa with 100% renewable energy by 2030, and the wealth of the richest 32 people could power most of Latin America with 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The report details the mix of renewable energy sources most appropriate for each region and discusses relevant technical issues regarding capacity factors, storage technologies and so on. But just as importantly, it argues that the energy revolution is necessarily a social revolution as well.

Friends of the Earth International, November 2015, ‘An Energy Revolution Is Possible’

Summary and full report

Deep Decarbonization studies (many countries; renewables and nuclear)

Transition to a fully sustainable global energy system

September 12, 2012. Transition to a fully sustainable global energy system. New study published in Energy Strategy Reviews details an energy future for 2050 powered 95% by renewables: Yvonne Y. Deng, , Kornelis Blok, Kees van der Leun, ‘Transition to a fully sustainable global energy system’, Energy Strategy Reviews, Volume 1, Issue 2, September 2012, Pages 109–121

Reply to the letter from Dr. Hansen and others

Excerpt from: Jusen Asuka, Seung-Joon Park, Mutsuyoshi Nishimura and Toru Morotomi, 31 Jan 2014, ‘Reply to the letter from Dr. Hansen and others’

Several studies have been conducted in the past to determine whether this ambitious climate change target is achievable without any reliance on nuclear power. Edenhofer et al. (2010) compared low-carbon scenarios using five different energy-economy models, and identified that the additional costs needed to stop nuclear investment in 2000 would be only around 0.7% of GDP in 2100. Recently other researchers have conducted studies in consideration of the denuclearization movement after the Fukushima accident. Bauer et al. (2012), for example, state that the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required to limit global average temperature rise to two degrees C from the pre-industrial era would be achievable for the additional cost of less than 0.1% of GDP by 2020, and less than 0.2% by 2050 without nuclear power. Duscha et al. (2013) state that denuclearization would increase global greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2020, but that developed countries would be able to achieve their share of the two degrees C target at an additional cost of 0.1% GDP. The same Duscha et al. (2013) reviewed other existing research, and concluded that most existing studies also indicated that ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions could be achieved at the additional cost of 1% GDP globally without nuclear power generation.

Edenhofer, O., Knopf, B., Barker, T., Baumstark, L., Bellevrat, E., Chateau, B., van Vuuren, D. P., 2010. “The economics of low stabilization: Model comparison of mitigation strategies and costs”, The Energy Journal, 31 (Special Issue 1), 11–48.

Bauer, N., Brecha, R. J., & Luderer, G., 2012. “Economics of nuclear power and climate change mitigation policies”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 16805–16810. DOI:10.1073.pnas.1201264109.

Duscha V., Schumacher K., Schleich J. & Buisson P., 2013. “Costs of meeting international climate targets without nuclear power”, Climate Policy, DOI:10.1080/14693062.2014.852018

Renewable Energy Outlook 2030

Stefan Peter, Harry Lehmann, Renewable Energy Outlook 2030: Energy Watch Group Global Renewable Energy Scenarios

Exec Summ:

Full report:

Nuclear Information & Resource Service: ‘Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free’

Many reports listed on this NIRS webpage (mostly USA, some global and Europe)

World Future Council

World Future Council’s Global 100% Renewable Energy − Studies and reports







Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable world energy outlook 2015

Greenpeace International, September 2015, ‘Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable world energy outlook 2015’,

The Energy [R]evolution Scenario has become a well known and well respected energy analysis since it was first published for Europe in 2005. In 2015, the fifth Global Energy [R]evolution scenario was published; earlier editions were published in 200720082010, and 2012.

Greenpeace has been publishing its Energy [R]evolution scenarios since 2005, more recently in collaboration with the scientific community, in particular the German Aerospace Centre (DLr). While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that “the world’s biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow”. It wasn’t the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace’s market scenario which was the most accurate.

100% Renewables by 2050

Mae-Wan Ho, Brett Cherry, Sam Burcher & Peter Saunders, 2009, ‘Green Energies: 100% Renewables by 2050’, ISIS/TWN Special Report



Research by Mark Jacobson and colleagues

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stanford University


Clean Energy Roadmaps for the 50 United States and 139 countries and The Solutions Project

  • Wind, water, solar roadmaps for 50 states and 139 countries (and here is an alternative link)
  • The Solutions Project
  • 139 COUNTRY 100% INFOGRAPHICS: A new study finds that countries around the world could shift their economies entirely to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, by the year 2050. The researchers map out the blend of energy sources that each of 139 countries would need to completely switch their energy to electric power. The report was first published in the journal  “The idea here is to electrify all energy sectors — transportation, heating, cooling, industry, agriculture, forestry, and fishing — and provide that electricity with 100 percent wind, water and solar power,” says Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and one of the authors of the report.


Studies on Grid Reliability With High Penetrations of Wind, Water, and Sunlight

Matching demand with supply at low cost in 139 countries among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes (Renewable Energy, 2018) (pdf)

—– One set of simulations (Case A) from paper: 2050-2054 simulations matching all-sector energy demand with 100% WWS supply, electricity storage (CSP with storage, batteries, pumped-hydro, existing hydroelectric reservoirs with zero added turbines ), heat storage, cold storage, and hydrogen storage in 20 world regions encompassing 139 countries: Africa (pdf) Australia (pdf) Central America (pdf) Central Asia (pdf) China-Mongolia-Hong Kong-North Korea (pdf) Cuba (pdf) Europe (pdf) Haiti-Dominican Republic (pdf) Iceland (pdf) India-Nepal-Sri Lanka (pdf) Jamaica (pdf) Japan-South Korea (pdf) Mideast (pdf) New Zealand (pdf) Philippines (pdf) Russia-Georgia (pdf) South America (pdf) Southeast Asia (pdf) Taiwan (pdf) U.S.-Canada (pdf)

—– Global cooling due to wind turbines (pdf)

A low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem over 48 contiguous U.S. states with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015) (pdf) Clarification (pdf)

—– Paper awarded Cozzarelli Prize from PNAS (link)

—– Reply to Bistline commentary (pdf) Reply to Clack commentary in journal format (pdf) Reply to Clack commentary line-by-line (pdf) Reply to Clack commentary for general readers (link) Corrections suggested for Clack et al. (pdf) FAQs about correcting record (pdf) Response to Caldeira about hydro assumption (pdf) Reply to Bryce-National Review (link) Reply to Conca-Forbes (link) Reply to Porter-NYT (link) Interview-GreenTech Media (link) Setting Record Straight-CleanTechnica (link) Hydropower times series (xlsx)

—– 30 peer-reviewed published research articles supporting grid stability with or near 100% renewable energy penetration (pdf)

Combining wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric to match contemporary power demand in California with 99.8% carbon-free sources (Renewable Energy, 2010) (pdf)

Review of potential of intermittent renewables to meet power demand (Proceedings of IEEE, 2012) (pdf)

The carbon abatement potential of high penetration intermittent renewables (Energy and Environmental Science, 2012) (pdf)

Effects of aggregating electric load in the United States (Energy Policy, 2012) (pdf)

Variability and uncertainty of wind power in the California electric power system (Wind Energy, 2013) (pdf)

Optimized mixes of wind and solar on a fully-renewable U.S. electricity grid (Energy, 2014) (pdf)

Flexibility mechanisms and pathways to a highly renewable U.S. electricity future (Energy, 2016) (pdf)

Temporal and spatial tradeoffs in power system modeling with assumptions about storage: An application of the POWER model (Energy, 2016) (pdf)

Combining offshore wind and electrolytic hydrogen storage (J. Power Sources, 2017) (pdf)

Matching hourly and peak demand by combining renewables (Stanford VPUE Report, Hoste et al., 2009) (pdf)

Studies on combining wind and wave power (link)

Studies on powering the world, U.S., and individual states with wind, water, and sunlight (link)


Avoiding blackouts with 100% renewable energy

Stanford University, 8 Feb 2018

Renewable energy solutions are often hindered by the inconsistencies of power produced by wind, water and sunlight and the continuously fluctuating demand for energy. New research by Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Aalborg University in Denmark finds several solutions to making clean, renewable energy reliable enough to power at least 139 countries.

In their paper, published as a manuscript this week in Renewable Energy, the researchers propose three different methods of providing consistent power among all energy sectors ‒ transportation; heating and cooling; industry; and agriculture, forestry and fishing ‒ in 20 world regions encompassing 139 countries after all sectors have been converted to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Jacobson and colleagues previously developed roadmaps for transitioning 139 countries to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050 with 80 percent of that transition completed by 2030. The present study examines ways to keep the grid stable with these roadmaps.


Some papers organized by topic

Roadmaps for transitioning the world, countries, states, cities, and towns to 100% clean, renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) in all energy sectors

Studies on grid reliability with up to 100% penetration of WWS

Studies examining impacts of energy and transportation technologies on climate, health, and energy security

Studies examining global and regional wind and solar resources and impacts of wind energy


WWF report: Critical materials for the transition to a 100% sustainable energy future

This February 2014 WWF study examines whether non-energy raw material supply bottlenecks could occur in the transition to a fully sustainable energy system.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

IRENA REsource database and country statistics:


REN21 ‒ Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

See esp. Renewables 2017 Global Status Report

Clean Technica

Greentech Media

The Solutions Project

With over 200 businesses, cities, and countries committed to 100% clean, renewable energy, momentum is building. Solutions Project is here to support that momentum and accelerate the transition to clean energy for all.

International Energy Agency ‒ energy issues by topic, Data & Publications, annual ‘World Energy Outlook‘ reports, Market Report Series: Renewables 2017, ‘Energy Technology Perspectives‘ reports

Renewable Energy Directory publishes articles about renewable energy, new technologies, etc. Our news pages aggregate headlines from around the web to keep you informed on a daily basis. Visit the directory to view informative websites and resources.

Nearly 50 countries vow to use 100% renewable energy by 2050

Payton M., 18 November 2016, ‘Nearly 50 countries vow to use 100% renewable energy by 2050’, The Independent

The signatories are countries who are disproportionately affected by global warming such as Ethiopia and the Maldives

Global Energy Assessment

The Global Energy Assessment (GEA), launched in 2012, defines a new global energy policy agenda – one that transforms the way society thinks about, uses, and delivers energy. Involving specialists from a range of disciplines, industry groups, and policy areas, GEA research aims to facilitate equitable and sustainable energy services for all, in particular the two billion people who currently lack access to clean, modern energy.

Coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), GEA was led by some of the world’s leading energy experts in research, academia, business, industry and policy, representing both the developed and the developing world. GEA is the first ever fully integrated energy assessment that analyzes energy challenges, opportunities and strategies, for developing, industrialized and emerging economies. It is supported by government and non-governmental organizations, the United Nations Systems, and the private sector.


Final Report:  GEA, 2012: Global Energy Assessment ‒ Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria.

Free download ‒ Final Report summary:
From the final report: “Nuclear energy as a choice, not a requirement. The GEA pathways illustrate that it is possible to meet all GEA goals even in the case of a nuclear phase-out. Nuclear energy can play an important role in the supply-side portfolio of some transition pathways; however, its prospects are particularly uncertain because of unresolved challenges surrounding its further deployment, as illustrated by the Fukushima accident and unresolved weapons proliferation risks”.

Renewable Energy ‒ The Green Alternative Way to Heat your Home

Energy Innovation Policy and Technology LLC is an energy and environmental policy firm.

Renewables International

Renewable Energy World

‘The World’s #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.’

World Wind Energy Association

Guardian renewable energy article collection

New Scientist ‒ articles on many energy / clean energy issues


Pathways to Deep Decarbonization ‒ Country Case Studies

International Energy Agency country reports


A 100% renewable grid isn’t just feasible, it’s already happening

Joe Romm, 22 May 2018

The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100 percent renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point: many countries and regions are already at or close to 100 percent now.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are seven countries already at, or very, near 100 percent renewable power: Iceland (100 percent), Paraguay (100), Costa Rica (99), Norway (98.5), Austria (80), Brazil (75), and Denmark (69.4). The main renewables in these countries are hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar.

new international study, which debunks many myths about renewable energy, notes that many large population regions are “at or above 100%” including Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Hostein regions, New Zealand’s South Island, and Denmark’s Samsø island. In Canada, both Quebec and British Columbia are at nearly 100 percent renewable power.

Last summer, China’s State-run Xinhua News Agency reported that “Qinghai Province has just run for seven straight days entirely on renewable energy … only wind, solar and hydro.” This was part of a test by the country’s State Grid Corporation to show a post-fossil-fuel future was practical.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has projected that by 2040, Germany’s grid will see nearly 75 percent renewable penetration, Mexico will be over 80 percent, and Brazil and Italy will be over 95 percent. BNEF was not looking at what could theoretically happen by mid-century if countries pushed as hard as required by the Paris Climate Accord. They were just looking at business as usual over the next two decades.

A study out earlier this month found, “Indonesia has far more than enough pumped hydro storage sites to support a 100% renewable electricity grid.” Storage is one of the most straightforward ways to integrate wind and solar power into the grid, to account for the times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. … And pumped hydro is but one of many strategies for integrating more renewables into the grid.


Canada could go 100% renewable by 2035 if its government gets serious

Katie Valentine, 24 March 2015

Canada can be a world leader in emissions reductions and renewable energy use, but only if its federal government decides to take climate change seriously, according to a new report.

The report, published by 70 Canadian academics, looked at Canada’s potential to shift its electricity production to renewable sources and cut its emissions. It found that the country could get 100% of its electricity from low-carbon sources like wind, solar, and hydropower by 2035 and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. To achieve these goals, the report recommended that the federal government implement a nationwide price on carbon and eliminate subsidies to Canada’s fossil fuel industry – particularly, its tar sands industry.


Unsubsidised wind and solar now cheapest form of bulk energy

Giles Parkinson, 20 November 2018

The unsubsidised cost of wind and solar now beats coal as the cheapest form of bulk generation in all major economies except Japan, according to the latest levellised cost of electricity analysis by leading energy analyst BloombergNEF.

The latest report says the biggest news comes in the two fastest growing energy markets, China and India, where it notes that “not so long ago coal was king”. Not any more. …

The China experience is also significant. While local authorities have put a brake on local installations, causing the domestic market to slump by one third in 2018, this has created a “global wave of cheap equipment” that has more than compensated for increased financing costs caused by rising interest rates.

China could get 85% of its electricity and 60% of total energy from renewables by 2050, according to government agencies.

Emissions will peak by 2025 if wind, solar and bioenergy are rolled out quickly, finds the report led by the China National Renewable Energy Centre claims.

In a “high renewable” scenario, the country’s coal use would peak in 2020 and its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 – five years ahead of target.

The report:

Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission, April 2015, ‘China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study

Summary / analysis: Megan Darby, 22 April 2015, ‘China’s electricity could go 85% renewable by 2050 – study

The Solutions Project:



The Solutions Project:

Roadmap 2050 (Europe)

The Roadmap 2050 project is an initiative of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and has been developed by a consortium of experts funded by the ECF.

Europe 100% Renewable by 2050,

NuClear News No. 18, May 2010 discusses this study among others:

100% Renewable Electricity: A roadmap for Europe and North Africa, Price Waterhouse Coopers, March 2010

Europe ‒ 2014 report:

Phase out of Nuclear Power in Europe – From Vision to Reality
Gustav Resch, Lukas Liebmann, Michael Lamprecht, Reinhard Haas ‒ TU Wien / Energy Economics Group (EEG)
Fabian Pause, Markus Kahles – Stiftung Umweltenergierecht (SUER)

Nuclear Information & Resource Service: ‘Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free’: Many reports listed on this NIRS webpage (mostly USA, some global and Europe)

Zero Carbon Britain is the research project of the Centre for Alternative Technology, showing that a modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today.

France: 2018 report

France’s environment ministry ADEME released a report finding that France will save €39 billion (US$44.5 billion) if it refrains from building 15 new nuclear plants by 2060, and instead replaces reactors with renewable energy sources.

France should spend €1.28 trillion over the next four decades, the report states, mostly on clean power production and storage capacities, networks, and imports. If it does this, France would progressively shut down its 58 reactors and renewable energy would comprise 85% of electricity generation by 2050 and 95% by 2060, up from 17% last year.

Bloomberg reported: “Falling costs means that photo-voltaic facilities won’t need subsidies from 2030, nor will onshore wind from 2035, the [ADEME] report said. That’s assuming that EDF halts 30 percent of its reactors after 40 years of operation and an additional 30 percent when they turn 50. Otherwise, surplus production capacity would undermine the economics of both nuclear power and renewables, ADEME said. The study doesn’t take into account the impact on jobs, industry and the environment. However, “we’re expecting job creations in renewables and energy efficiency to largely make up for job losses in the nuclear industry,” said ADEME Chairman Arnaud Leroy.”

ADEME, 10 Dec 2018, ‘Étude : Quelle Trajectoire D’évolution du #Mix #Électrique Français D’ici 2060?’,

Francois De Beaupuy, 11 Dec 2018, ‘France Would Save $44.5 Billion by Betting on Renewable Energy, Agency Says’,

Geert De Clercq / Reuters, 11 Dec 2018, ‘Building new nuclear plants in France uneconomical – environment agency’,

France: 2015 report

A 2015 report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, shows that a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2050 in France is feasible and affordable. For an all-renewables scenario, the report proposes an ideal electricity mix: 63% from wind, 17% from solar, 13% from hydro and 7% from renewable thermal sources (including geothermal energy). The report estimates that the electricity production cost (currently averaging 91 euros per MWh) would be 119 euros per megawatt-hour in the all-renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of 117 euros per MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.

English language summary: Terje Osmundsen, 20 April 2015

Full report (in French): L’Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME), 2015, ‘Vers un mix électrique 100% renouvelable en 2050’


India Energy Minister Flags Massive 100GW Solar Tender
By Giles Parkinson, 21 June 2018

Future bids for renewable projects to have 50 pc manufacturing component: R K Singh

June 25, 2018

Union Power Minister R K Singh said, “We will add 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. We have already added around 70 GW of renewable energy that is solar and wind and around 40 GW is under implementation.”

On lowering emission goals, he said, “We have pledged in 2015 that by 2030, 40 per cent of our installed capacity will come from renewables.”

The minister said that with the addition of large hydro power of 45 GW to 70 GW of renewables, it has already crossed 30 per cent, and by 2030, about 53 or 55 per cent of installed power generation capacity will be renewables.

Talking about investment in clean energy in India, he said about USD 42 billion investment has come in renewables in the last four years which was done by facilitating the market and India did not invest except in the transmission.

On India’s household electrification programme, he said, “In the sphere of power and renewables, we are engaged in massive expansion programme. We are adding about 40 million electricity consumers. We have already added about 7.5 million consumers till date. We have added 100,000 km lines to transmission country.”

Unsubsidised wind and solar now cheapest form of bulk energy

Giles Parkinson, 20 November 2018

The unsubsidised cost of wind and solar now beats coal as the cheapest form of bulk generation in all major economies except Japan, according to the latest levellised cost of electricity analysis by leading energy analyst BloombergNEF.

The latest report says the biggest news comes in the two fastest growing energy markets, China and India, where it notes that “not so long ago coal was king”. Not any more.

“In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants,” the report says, and this is despite the recent imposition of import tariffs on solar cells and modules.

100% Renewable Energy by 2050 for India

Dec. 2013: Even India could reach nearly 100% renewables by 2051, Emma Fitzpatrick, 17 Jan 2014.

See also RenewEconomy article.

The Solutions Project:


Realizable solar potential in India is 110 GW to 144 GW by 2024

September 2014

A recent BRIDGE TO INDIA analysis suggests that India’s realizable solar potential is 110 GW to 144 GW by 2024. Solar could contribute 10%-13% to India’s grid power supply by 2024 without destabilizing the grid. 26-35 GW is the potential for small rooftops (“bees”), 31-41 GW for commercial rooftops (“pigeons”), 32-42 GW for utility scale plants (“horses”) and 21-27 GW for GW-scale plants (“elephants”)

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) 2018 report found that the cost of wind and solar power has declined dramatically over the past year in India, well beyond the global average. According to BNEF: “Taking India as an example, BNEF is now showing benchmark LCOEs [levelized costs of electricity] for onshore wind of just $39 per MWh, down 46% on a year ago, and for solar PV at $41, down 45%. By comparison, coal comes in at $68 per MWh, and combined-cycle gas at $93. Wind-plus-battery and solar-plus-battery systems in India have wide cost ranges, of $34-208 per MWh and $47-308 per MWh respectively, depending on project characteristics, but the center of those ranges is falling fast.”

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 28 March 2018, ‘Tumbling Costs for Wind, Solar, Batteries Are Squeezing Fossil Fuels

Research released by Greenpeace India in December 2017 found that at least 65% of India’s coal power generation in financial year 2016 – representing 94 GW of installed capacity – was being sold to distribution companies at a higher cost than power from new renewable energy projects. The analysis showed that replacing the most expensive coal power plants with electricity generated by solar PV and wind would save consumers up to 54,000 crores (US$8.3 billion) annually. Just replacing older, expensive plants – those older than 20 years – would still yield 20,000 crore (US$3 billion) in reduced power purchase costs annually.

Greenpeace India, 21 December 2017, ‘Win-win: India can save 54,000 crore in power costs and reduce air pollution by replacing expensive coal plants with renewables’,

“Cheap renewable energy is killing India’s coal-based power plants”

20% of plants are stranded

9 May 2018

Quartz India reports that wind and solar tariffs have fallen to around Rs 2.4 per unit. Coal averages Rs 3.7. Of India’s 197 GW of coal plants, c. 40 GW are stranded, according to the Ministry of Power.


A Sustainable Energy Outlook for Japan

Greenpeace, 2011, ‘The Advanced Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Energy Outlook for Japan’

Renewables 2013 Japan Status Report

Overall, Japan has given the go-ahead to over 70 GW of renewable energy projects, most of which are solar. Longer term, a ‘100% by 2050’ ISEP renewables scenario has around 50GW of wind, much of it offshore, and 140GW of PV.

20. USA

Nuclear Information & Resource Service: ‘Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free’: Many reports listed on this NIRS webpage (mostly USA, some global and Europe)

Stanford / Jacobson: Roadmaps to convert the 50 United States to 100% Wind, Water, and Sunlight (WWS) for all purposes

Summary paper: Energy and Environmental Sciences 2015

State-by-state infographics from The Solutions Project /

National Geographic article and graphics on 50-state roadmaps


50-state xlsx-spreadsheets

Frequently-asked questions

See other material posted at

Some other US studies from Jacobson et al.:

The Solutions Project

Study: wind and solar can power most of the United States
Wind, solar, and storage could meet 90–100% of America’s electricity needs
2018 study: Wind and solar PV could meet 80% of US electricity demand

A new study finds that wind power and solar photovoltaics could by themselves meet 80 percent of all U.S. electricity demand. “Five years ago, many people doubted that these resources could account for more than 20 or 30 percent,” co-author Steven Davis of the University of California at Irvine (UCI) explained in a news release. So, “the fact that we could get 80 percent of our power from wind and solar alone is really encouraging.”

From the news release: “But beyond the 80 percent mark, the amount of energy storage required to overcome seasonal and weather variabilities increases rapidly. “Our work indicates that low-carbon-emission power sources will be needed to complement what we can harvest from the wind and sun until storage and transmission capabilities are up to the job,” said co-author Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science. “Options could include nuclear and hydroelectric power generation, as well as managing demand.””

Also from the news release: “We looked at the variability of solar and wind energy over both time and space and compared that to U.S. electricity demand,” Davis said. “What we found is that we could reliably get around 80 percent of our electricity from these sources by building either a continental-scale transmission network or facilities that could store 12 hours’ worth of the nation’s electricity demand. The researchers said that such expansion of transmission or storage capabilities would mean very substantial – but not inconceivable – investments. They estimated that the cost of the new transmission lines required, for example, could be hundreds of billions of dollars. In comparison, storing that much electricity with today’s cheapest batteries would likely cost more than a trillion dollars, although prices are falling.”

Comments from Think Progress: “It’s especially encouraging for two additional reasons. First, the price of solar and wind have been dropping rapidly. Second, the study only examined how wind and solar could power the grid. In doing so, it found these two sources alone could provide 80 percent of the power. This still leaves 20 percent that could be provided by a variety of alternative types of carbon-free power. And in terms of alternate carbon-free power sources, hydropower already provides 6.5 percent of U.S. power while geothermal and biomass together add another 2 percent. All of those can be expanded.”

Matthew R. Shaner, Steven J. Davis, Nathan S. Lewisa and Ken Caldeira, 2018, ‘Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power in the United States’, Energy & Environment Science.

News release

Think Progress article