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Can 100% renewable energy power the world? - Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei

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Check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/teded View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/can-100-renewable-energy-power-the-world-federico-rosei-and-renzo-rosei Every year, the world uses 35 billion barrels of oil. This massive scale of fossil fuel dependence pollutes the earth, and it won’t last forever. On the other hand, we have abundant sun, water and wind, which are all renewable energy sources. So why don’t we exchange our fossil fuel dependence for an existence based only on renewables? Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei describe the challenges. Lesson by Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei, directed by Giulia Martinelli. Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! David & Pamela Fialkoff, Miami Beach Family, Kostadin Mandulov, Kyoung-Rok Jang, Alex Schenkman, Hachik Masis Bagdatyan, Sdiep Sriram, Ivan Todorović, Antero Semi, Yanuar Ashari, Mrinalini , Anthony Kudolo, Scott Gass, Querida Owens, David Lucsanyi, Hazel Lam, Jhiya Brooks, Manav parmar, Dwight Tevuk , Stephen A. Wilson, Siamak H, Minh Tran, Dominik Kugelmann, Michel Reyes, Katie Winchester, Mary Sawyer, Ryan Mehendale, David Rosario, Samuel Doerle, Be Owusu, Susan Herder, Savannah Scheelings, Prasanth Mathialagan, Yanira Santamaria, Chad Harper, Dawn Jordan, Constantin Salagor, Activated Classroom Teaching, Kevin Wong, Umar Farooq, Goh Xiang Ting Diana, Mohammad Khory, Dmitry Neverov, Tushar Sharma, Mukamik, Cristóbal Medina Moenne, Silas Schwarz, Fabio Peters, MJ Tan Mingjie, Yansong Li, Jason A Saslow, Michael Aquilina, Joanne Luce, Ayaan Heban, Henry Li, Elias Wewel, Kyle Nguyen, Taylor Hunter, Noa Shore, Lex Azevedo, Merit Gamertsfelder, Bev Millar, Rishi Pasham, Jhuval, SookKwan Loong, Daniel Day, Nick Johnson.
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Text Comments (1043)
TED-Ed (1 year ago)
Thank you so much to everyone supporting us on Patreon! You are helping amplify the voices of scientists working towards a more sustainable future. If you'd like to learn more about how to get involved, check out our Patreon page: http://bit.ly/2BRTjYU
James Haywood (2 months ago)
Why no mention of thorium reactors? Abundant fuel, high power, extremely low risk, no pollution, cheap... The list goes on.
Yan Ming Terrence Zhou (5 months ago)
Real question is-Can an influential civil engineering firm leader change the politics?
Lit_Coal (6 months ago)
The greed of man shall be it's very destruction
Arsene Wenger (2 days ago)
So many lies!!! Coal can power us for 500 more years. And no way are we out of oil in 50 years.
this video is realy good im sorry about the other coment
this viideo sucks i dont like it
Jimin Bang (6 days ago)
we have the 4 elements. air/wind, water, sun, and land. so, we need another element!
TheNightwalker247 (6 days ago)
why not a lot of interconnected microgrids so you could just share energy between the micro grids through a larger more steady grid.
đeri662 (1 day ago)
That's kind of what we have today.
Super HumanTV (11 days ago)
Why dont we just send s Huge solar panels out to space like a satellite and just collect the energy since itll be collecting 24/7 this will all so be possible forming a contract with private rocket companies like SpaceX. Current rocket launch is 14million - 50 million
Gary Lewis (11 days ago)
For renewables download PDF from www.roadmaptonowhere.com
Thirumaran Thirumaran (12 days ago)
Renewable energy <<CLICK HERE>>@t
Jc Ezt (13 days ago)
Can you give me an ideas to invent something new for sustainable development
Ines Cyntia (15 days ago)
Thank u ted ed❤
Daniel Wuillemin (26 days ago)
renewable adjective re·​new·​able | \ ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl , -ˈnyü-\ Definition of renewable 1 : capable of being renewed renewable contracts 2 : capable of being replaced by natural ecological cycles or sound management practices renewable resources Where is you plan to replenish the sun??
Simple.. oil and gas companies will run out of hard cash
Ryan VanGelder (1 month ago)
Where's Graphene at??
Christopher Warner (1 month ago)
Gravity Powered Generator is a very good solution as a renewable energy source. Way superior to solar and wind for many reasons.
Alistair Milner (1 month ago)
I studied at university for years and years and years until i came up with my light bulb moment and that is cycle to work and turn the lights of when you leave the office, I think its still at the development stage but am hoping it will take off one day.
Prometheus Rising (1 month ago)
Nuclear is the safest and cleanest.
Prometheus Rising (1 month ago)
Peak oil has been debunked. Renewable is not reliable.
ashina clan (1 month ago)
"What if WE...blablabla" There is no "we" , nobody gives a **** egoism,greed and power is the only motivation on this planet
This is the truth. The owner of the video didn't talk about the governments and Greedy businessmen .. "Who is willing to pay double for less energy?" -Big businessmen principle.
許進曾 (1 month ago)
Or just try and build a fusion reactor.
Artemis Pacifium (1 month ago)
4:42 use graphene today, its lightweight, efficient, and more!
Rebel Rebel (1 month ago)
Ken Konard (1 month ago)
What ‘renewable’ fuels do the global change enthusiasts intend to use for airplane fuels? It sounds like they want the US to not fly anymore while our enemies can fly nuclear bombers?
NightcoreSlayer47 (1 month ago)
Too complex and not needed.
Matthew Coy (1 month ago)
You see how they didn't mention nuclear?
Rebel Rebel (1 month ago)
they also repeat the lie that fossil fuels are "running out" as if they werent actually renewing themselves. But i'm all for nuclear...
Matteo Piccioni (1 month ago)
100% renewable?! Pure bullshits,they too much rely on variables situations..we need a source that can be turned off and on when we want based on OUR requests,not on natural variabilities..so nuclear(fission and fusion), geothermal,water,oil are good choice ... solar and wind power should be only a contour
đeri662 (1 month ago)
Note that geothermal and hydro are renewable sources. Oil is rarely used for electricity production. I agree with the rest, nuclear will be necessary if we want to have carbon-free electricity.
Ian Macdonald (2 months ago)
Here we have a classic piece of crafty wind-and-solar promotional material. "13% of world energy is provided by renewables, therefore a transition to renewables is perfectly feasible." The figure of 13% is a bit optimistic but it's in the ballpark. That's NOT what WIND and SOLAR provide, though! "Sun and wind contain masses of energy. Therefore we must spend more on wind TURBINES and solar PANELS to complete this transition." -This is termed a non sequitur argument. It sounds as if it might be a logical conclusion, but when you have the full facts, you see it is not. The bulk of the renewable energy we use comes from hydro or biomass. Wind turbines and solar panels together provide ONE PERCENT of world energy. NOT, 13%. Wind and sun might contain lots of energy, but the efficiency of these devices in collecting it is poor. What's more they have been under development for decades, and there doesn't seem to be any likelihood of the efficiency being increased significantly. Windmills are actually a thousands-of-years-old concept, and were abandoned when better energy sources were found. If they could have been made to work reliably and efficiently, they would have been. By far the greatest share of the $250 billion or more world renewables development money goes to wind and solar. This has been the case for over a decade. Yet, we still have next to nothing in real terms to show for it. Hydro and biomass provide massively greater returns in spite of having only a fraction of the financial backing. Even nuclear, despite its high costs, provides a better return simply because it is reliable. Can we transition to renewables? Maybe. Can we do it by pouring money into the pockets of wind turbine and solar farm speculators? NOPE. That way leads only to ruin. It's time the various Green groups wised-up to this. Figures from OurWorldInData.
đeri662 (1 month ago)
The problem I see is the media and organisations like Greenpeace feeding us with this utopic idea about wind and solar power. It sounds great for non-technically educated people. I also hate it when random people talk about it, thinking they know everything and could "save the World". Wind and solar have an even bigger problem than low energy density, that is intermittency. If we want to have most of our electricity produced by wind and solar, there will be unimaginable costs associated with energy storage and backup power plants. Hydroelectricity can produce a lot of power, the problem is that in places like the USA or Europe, there are not a lot of feasible places for hydroelectric power plants left. We took advantage of the majority of economically feasible hydroelectric potential there. Biomass has some potential but it will not be nearly enough for the electricity consumption, which will rise year by year, especially if EVs become more popular and more people start to use heat pumps for heating. I think the solution, at least for this century, could be nuclear. It can be very cheap ($40/MWh in my country, a new reactor is planned at $29/MWh). It can also produce a lot of clean, carbon-free power and it can follow loads very fast, making power grids stable and supply reliable. About the money that goes into wind and solar industry. I've seen a research done by Environmental Progress which showed that Germany (European leader in wind and solar implementations) could by 2025 have 100 % carbon-free electricity production, all personal vehicles could be electric and they would still have around 100 TWh for export if they redirected the money flow from wind, solar and energy storage projects to nuclear projects.
Mohamed EL Mghaimimi (2 months ago)
Solar in MOROCCO https://youtu.be/wKy2aKUbhiw
Luke Kettlewell (2 months ago)
Hello i am sinabads president. I come to say, if you have a dragon in your vilage than i have a guy. He is john, he has no hands but will slay with his elbows. HE WILL CONCUR YOUR GIANT REPTILE!!!!! He does it at the brice of a my little pony balloon and a prosthetic arm shaped like a giraffe toe. reply if u need a dragon slayed.
TheGandorX (2 months ago)
Abundant sun and wind? Think again, these sources are totally variable.
888TopGear888 (2 months ago)
Oh i didnt know oil rigs were cheap and renewable sources were expensive
O nacionalismo vive! (2 months ago)
Eu já vi muitos videos e percebi que esse canal e meio globalista
BURHAN MAKDA (2 months ago)
Steve Nikitas (2 months ago)
The world has an infinite supply of coal, oil, natural gas and uranium. Don't believe the scare stories. The greenies said in the 1970s that we would run out of oil by 1990. Yet we have more oil reserves than ever, and it is becoming easier and easier to find.
htaz123456789 (2 months ago)
Future Environmental Engineer
jieqiang luo (2 months ago)
How about we take advantage of global warming for hydroelectric.
Raptor D.O (2 months ago)
E.L.Dorado (2 months ago)
Current green technology is worse than fossil fuels.
dragoola69x (3 months ago)
The answer is not as complicated as you make it sound leave out the politics ONE AND TWO we have the technology already we just have to put it together in the right format
IIJohn David (3 months ago)
what happens if you used energy on money printing and then you the money to buy more solar panels so that we get more and more energy until we've made a Dyson Sphere
JK Clean energy man (3 months ago)
I have some clean energy ideas that are not wind, solar or hydro.  And I even have some ideas how to pay for the research and development myself.  Anyone want to hear more, let me know.   Have the best day of your life every day.
Enrique Herrera (3 months ago)
Shouldn’t we consider nuclear fusion as a renewable energy as well? You only need a ridiculous amount of Lithium to make it happen if we develop that technology as well
Ratkill9000 (3 months ago)
Let the actual demand take control of what we use, not politics. When the government gets involved, things fail hard. We should look at better nuclear technologies for power, such as thorium reactors and molten salt reactors.
Cristina Oliva (3 months ago)
Great TED-ed! I want to be a contributor to help climate change, It's a good way to invest in low cost in renewables, so I already applied to get a discount: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ebord-your-smart-life-table/coming_soon/x/19733387 Has somebody know about this product? Some references? Thank you
Vincent Robinette (3 months ago)
For vehicles, even aircraft, the storage density of batteries only needs to be about 40 percent of the energy density of oil. That's because of the dismal efficiency of combustion engines of any kind, compared to electric motors. Engines are only about 25% efficient, Electric motors can exceed 80%, even including the electronic controller. Of the 36 kilowatt hours available in a gallon of gas, you're lucky to get even 12 kilowatts hours, measured at the flywheel. That makes it seem like a more achievable goal.
Somnath Pal (3 months ago)
For the production of components of windmill, solar panels; we use furnaces which uses coal. I think at the end, we will not be able to cut off our reliance on coal, even if we produce enough from renewable energy. Also,increase in production of such components will result in increase in emissions. I think the pollution factor will be the same at the end unless a solution is found to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels
Jarod Farrant (3 months ago)
I’m addicted to ted-Ed who’s with me?
Reuben Gibson (3 months ago)
Alice Wong (4 months ago)
If he get Fusion power we will be like God
Alice Wong (4 months ago)
What about fusion?
Vish Ram (4 months ago)
Nice Video, Here is 1 Concept which helps to achieve target, for any County to run Completely on Clean Energy in Very Less Time, Solves Solar Energy Both (LAND/FUNDs) Issue & Benefits All (Govt., Private Firms, Public) at Same Time🤔👇 Complete Details can be checked at https://youtu.be/iQwhWgXmKQk OR http://lightenmyways.blogspot.com
MrDuckie228 (4 months ago)
You could store energy in ammonia instead of hydrogen. Ammonia requires less pressure and you can store more within tanks.
Pedro Severino Sousa...Visitando às Obras das Usinas Solar...Em COREMAS-PB.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCFIElgxoJA&t=16s
Jonny P (4 months ago)
What about a self supplying fuel cell with low resistsnance wires to make it as efficient as possible meaning that slowly after it finally runs out... all you have to do is refill water
Nate Farv (4 months ago)
But how are we going to make the wind mills and solar panels when we run out of fossil fuels? We can't make lipo batters without mining for the lithium. There has to be a better way.
Dallas Letersky (4 months ago)
Never gonna happen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2KNqluP8M0
Petter Engersand (4 months ago)
All we need is political will. The technology is good enough and will be better for every year. We have 3 major storage sollutions: 1. Water stored in high places. 2. Batteries. 3. Gravity storage. Together this is enough.
monoham1 (4 months ago)
this sounds like it was written by a child with the help of his conservative coal miner grandpa. its so wrong and simplistic and separated from statistics
Kathy Fausett (4 months ago)
Knuckleheads have been talking about peak oil for 50 years. We are now producing more oil in the U.S. than any other place on earth, including Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Black Swan (4 months ago)
1 Yes it can. When large plastic film based solar panels are put in orbit trapping solar energy and transmitting it via microwaves to Earth receiving stations (AS PREDICTED BY ISAAC ASIMOV) but not before 2 Solar panels can SUPPLEMENT what is supplied by fossil fuel based utilities BY GEN electricity between 10 AM and 2 PM exactly when the demand peaks. India for example subsidizes solar panels and solar panel gen electricity or hot water but most of India lies between 5 deg N and 30 deg N latitude and has clear skies except during the monsoon .... so other nations may not be able to copy this
đeri662 (4 months ago)
1 It would solve all energy related problems having 24/7 solar energy. The questions are: can it be done on a large scale? How to make it safe? How much would it cost? etc. 2 Demand peak is in the evening, the demand is a lot lower in midday (when solar production peaks). Most of the countries subsidize solar panels, theres' only a difference of how much.
Dan Ruiz (4 months ago)
we ned to stop global warming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
D'Brickashaw (4 months ago)
what if I live in northern Canada ...where the sun never rises..and the wind is really weak
đeri662 (4 months ago)
Make use of hydro potential or build an HVDC line from the south.
David G (4 months ago)
I came across a NEW breakthrough energy solution that looks to be the holy-grail. It solves all these issues without any environmental impact. Worth looking into. The energy company is called H2IL with a stack of videos proving the technology.
Josh Zbuk (5 months ago)
very helpful ty
Nox (5 months ago)
Solar Panels in the desert is not a bad idea if you ask me. Yes, it's too far from the cities with high electricity demands, but why don't we store the energy, in batteries? Just because it's too far away, doesn't mean we can't carry it somewhere else, like batteries, they have electricity stored within them. Large batteries would be very helpful for this, especially if we re-use the battery materials, like the thing that holds the electricity. It would be very helpful towards society to be able to use batteries, empty it, and come back for more. It wouldn't be too expensive to keep electricity in batteries and transporting them to other countries, the countries could stack up their own or someone from the power plant that has electric batteries are there already. This applies to hydropower and wind power, just because it's far away, doesn't mean you can't transport it. In short, charge a battery, take it somewhere, and discharge it for your own use. If someone has already thought of this, then welp, hahah. This is an idea by a 12-year-old, so opinions may vary, feel free to tell me the disadvantages of these anyways.
đeri662 (5 months ago)
The electricity price from this batteries would be higher because of the transport costs and the losses in the battery. It would be cheaper to just place the panels to the location where the consumption is, even with lower irradiation.
Edward Wu (5 months ago)
Does Fusion energy count as renewable? It's certainly clean, and I think it has good potential for the future
Sathvik Bhat (5 months ago)
Good intention .....Keep going Ted ed
Rock Roads (5 months ago)
Biodiesel through algae
edd esperon (5 months ago)
Now i can properly make our more informative😊❤
Rahul sharma (5 months ago)
Why not try to live in a minimalist way and reduce your energy signature. 7 billion humans if do that right can significantly reduce pollution.
thekillerlinf2 (5 months ago)
Two words: nuclear fusion
David G (5 months ago)
Fully agree. I came across some videos of a new technology that sounds like it would solve all these problems and could be the holy grail of power and transportation energy supply. They have a long name but I remember them by the name H2IL They have some cool videos worth viewing.
Angelo Carlo Cabreros (5 months ago)
why we cant move from non renewable to renewable energy? because of those business men 😑
Richard Monroe (5 months ago)
In 2016 while total world energy came from 80% fossil fuels, 10% biofuels, 5% nuclear and 5% renewable (hydro, wind, solar, geothermal), only 18% of that total world energy was in the form of electricity.
Richard Monroe (5 months ago)
Wind and solar contribute less than 2% of world energy. Most rivers are already dammed. Let's say those rivers are now destroyed. Growth in wind and solar hasn't even kept up with population growth.
Richard Monroe (5 months ago)
5%, not 13 %. Start by at least telling the truth.
mlal83 (5 months ago)
No is the simple answer
Magda Savin (1 month ago)
Many people don't know that nuclear power even if it is produced without releasing greenhouse gas emissions, it is still a fossil fuel energy source https://www.alternative-energies.net/is-nuclear-energy-renewable/ that produces hazardous nuclear waste as a by-product of the nuclear fission reaction. For the moment, we cannot rely only on renewable energy sources to power the world, we still need to use mostly fossil fuels to cover the demand for energy. Sadly, I see that many countries are trying today to build more nuclear power plants (for nuclear fission) instead of increasing the generation capacity for solar and wind,.
Sayyad Aadil (6 months ago)
Addicted to Ted ed
Lit_Coal (6 months ago)
Biofuel but you take the waste products to make more
Carlos Herrera (6 months ago)
efficency is clever laziness
Татьяна (6 months ago)
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The Beast345 (6 months ago)
The Beast345 (6 months ago)
I love ur channel
Archer (6 months ago)
I work with superconducting power cables. The problem is not that the cable has to be cooled. The problem is the cost of superconducting materials and associated construction.
Psycho Lefty (6 months ago)
If u have tons of cheap solar, there is no reason u can manufacture hydrocarbons and then pull pollutants out of the air and recycle them.
Wattouat Blackshiney (6 months ago)
3:17 "...lose 6%-8%" but for which distance?
armund16 (6 months ago)
ya, expensive. people will pay severely with rent almost as much as their 2 week pay check soon lol. 40 dollars for 1 cup of coffee in the future, people are always paying for governments every move. Loved the video though
Kenneth Reddy (6 months ago)
lol why don't you put the solar panels in space?
TheMamspoker mamp (6 months ago)
This video starts out with several lies, sending viewers onto a false track. In 2016 total world energy came from 80% fossil fuels, 10% biofuels, 5% nuclear and 5% renewable (hydro, wind, solar, geothermal). Renewables are nowhere close to 12%, as the video states. Second, the authors suggest that we will run out of fossil fuels in 50-100 years. This is a static view that assumes we will stay stuck in our present modes of extraction, tapping the current known reserves. The truth is that humans will continue to develop more efficient ways to extract fossil fuel and bring it cheaply to the customer. In 1980, the reserves-to-production ratio suggested only 32 years of oil production from existing reserves. With technological advances, reserves that were previously deemed unviable to tap have kept coming on board. Studies now show that the total remaining recoverable oil resources will likely last 190 years, natural gas 230 years, and coal 2900 years.
Looun Lao Bottomsby (6 months ago)
Deep geothermal power plants, 'paid' for ('too expensive'!! ) by money-less commitments of military manpower and equipment resourced pro-rated provided by all countries of the world as 'one humankind association to stop emission of carbon dioxide'.   It's coming, so let's start now; not when it is VERY VERY hard to stop. The thinking life form continues, in the milky way. Lets' show ourselves we're smart enough, and demand it of our governments and universities in programs, courses and mandates.      WE CANNOT BURN FOSSIL FUELS. WELL KNOWN NOW, SO ALL COUNTRIES FORM UNDER ONE FEDERATION, AND MAKE IT ILLEGAL. (YES, 'GO FORTH AND PROSPER', IN A NON-EXTINCTION BASED FUTURE !!!!!!!!!!!
Steve Last (6 months ago)
The glaring omission here, in my opinion is he lack of any reference to Biogas/ Anaerobic Digestion renewable energy. It is derived from biomass which is mentioned but when biomass is mentioned but not discussed as here it is assumed that combustion of biomass is what is meant. #anaerobicdigestion
Nuclear energy
Miguel Jeffrey (7 months ago)
I honestly can't believe that a TED-Ed video on renewable energy did not mention the discovery or advance in technological ways of harnessing nuclear fusion. Even though nuclear fusion isn't renewable, it's the cleanest possible form of energy. Don't get me wrong, i loved this video and found it very informative. Well done again TED-Ed!
Todd Fernandez (7 months ago)
Check out THE OFF FOSSIL FUELS ACT - to mandate all electric companies in the U.S. buy 100% clean energy by 2035. Basically outlawing oil/gas/coal - categorically. https://www.foodandwateractionfund.org/content/off-fossil-fuels-better-future-act
Blu (7 months ago)
algae biofuels or ammonia
irene Wibowo (7 months ago)
This is a wonderful idea
K1naku5ana3R1ka (7 months ago)
Wind and solar are nice, but someone is clearly ignoring nuclear energy; it’s going to be vital in sustainable energy, especially because of how unreliable solar and wind can be.
contrarian duude (7 months ago)
If it's nuclear in nature, then yes.......... I get that we all want to save the earth, but maybe our focus should broaden. NASA uses nuclear radioactive pellets to power their satellites. The solar sails provide minimal power. Think they're on to something? I'm just sayin Waiting for it....... incoming below.......LOL
Maxim C. (7 months ago)
Ultimately, the problem is our money religion. Otherwise we would be powering the world from clean renewables for decades already...
first Impression (7 months ago)
I must assume by this video that oil is produced right in the middle of cities and not transported from other countries thousands of miles away....

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