Not long ago, energy nerds were pondering the feasibility of 20 percent renewables on the electric grid. We're long past that.
Today, the conversation is centered around 100 percent renewables economy-wide — thanks largely to a body of work developed by Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson and his colleagues. Since 2009, he's argued that 100 percent renewables is not only feasible, it's desirable.
But as the stakes get higher, the debate gets more intense. Jacobson has picked up many high-profile supporters — but he's also picked up a lot of critics, who believe his work is faulty and short-sighted.
That criticism came to a head last month when a group of researchers published a lengthy rebuttal to one of Jacobson's 100-percent renewable scenarios. The internet exploded with points and counter-points and counter-counter-points.
In this episode, we feature a lengthy interview with Jacobson. He responds directly to criticisms of the paper, sheds light on his modeling, and talks about the role of his work in setting energy policy.
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- 2009 research from Jacobson outlining a 100-percent renewables plan
- 2015 study from Jacobson, et al, on balancing a 100-percent renewable grid
- The rebuttal published by Clack, et al, on Jacobson's modeling