A few weeks ago Nature provided an analysis of the prospects for generating carbon-free energy from a range of technologies. Here is a brief summary of their verdicts for each technology for “coming decades” (and where they did not provide numbers I erred on the high side):
Hydropower = 1 TW
Nuclear = 1 TW
Biomass = 0 - ??
Wind = 1.5 TW
Geothermal = 1 TW
Solar = Lots
Ocean = 0
Total = ~4.5 TW + solar
So if the world will need between 11-22 TW of carbon free energy by 2025 to be consistent with a 550 stabilization path, where will that energy come from? This question is rarely addressed.
Here are some other questions:
Can solar provide between 6.5-17.5 TW?
Are there other technologies to fill the gap not discussed by Nature.
How can any cap and trade program ever hope to work if there are not suitable alternatives under a cap?
These are the central questions of mitigation.
This post is lifted and edited from Prometheus: