Study: 100% renewables doesn’t equal zero-carbon energy

Iowa Climate Science Education

From Stanford University

While 160 companies around the world have committed to use ?100 percent renewable energy,? that does not mean ?100 percent carbon-free energy.? The difference will grow as power grids become less reliant on fossil power, according to anew Stanford studypublished inJoule. Entities committed to fighting climate change can and should measure the environmental benefits of their renewable strategies accurately, the authors write.

Current methods of estimating greenhouse gas emissions use yearly averages, even though the carbon content of electricity on the grid can vary a lot over the course of a day in some locations. By 2025, the use of yearly averages in California could overstate the carbon reductions associated with solar power by more than 50 percent when compared to hourly averages, the paper shows. One finding of this analysis is that wind power ? not solar ? needs to be the…

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