The influential academic says renewables alone can halt climate crisis, with technologies such as carbon capture expensive wastes of time
“Combustion is the problem – when you’re continuing to burn something, that’s not solving the problem,” says Prof Mark Jacobson.
The Stanford University academic has a compelling pitch: the world can rapidly get 100% of its energy from renewable sources with, as the title of his new book says, “no miracles needed”.
Wind, water and solar can provide plentiful and cheap power, he argues, ending the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis, slashing deadly air pollution and ensuring energy security. Carbon capture and storage, biofuels, new nuclear and other technologies are expensive wastes of time, he argues.
“Bill Gates said we have to put a lot of money into miracle technologies,” Jacobson says. “But we don’t – we have the technologies that we need. We have wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, electric cars. We have batteries, heat pumps, energy efficiency. We have 95% of the technologies right now that we need to solve the problem.” The missing 5% is for long-distance aircraft and ships, he says, for which hydrogen-powered fuel cells can be developed.