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This week’s question—could the world ever run entirely on renewable energy?—is shadowed by a much larger one: Namely, will politicians and powerful forces of delay like Big Oil ever allow the world to run entirely on renewable energy? For the most part, we have put that larger question aside for this installment; the experts below are interested primarily in whether it’s feasible.
To not switch to renewables in the very near future would, we know, summon a host of awful consequences. Unchecked carbon emissions would make vast swaths of the planet uninhabitable by century’s end; survivors of the heat-apocalypse would spend their days fortifying little hutments, or surgically excising mold from rotten squirrel meat. This is not the future we want—which is why planning for a renewable transition, and ensuring we bring it off, is so important. Hard as it might be, it’s worth setting aside your doomy visions of the future to consider, for a moment, what we can actually achieve. For this week’s Giz Asks, we’ve assembled a panel of experts to discuss whether the world could ever run entirely on renewable energy—and what it would take to get there.