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Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun

out 44 percent and stabilize energy prices, since fuel costs would be zero, according to the study.

It would also create a net gain, after fossil-fuel and nuclear energy job losses are accounted for, of about 220,000 manufacturing, installation and technology construction and operation jobs. On top of that, the state would reap net earnings from these jobs of about $12 billion annually.

According to the researchers' calculations, one scenario suggests that all of California's 2050 power demands could be met with a mix of sources, including:

25,000 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
1,200 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
15 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
72 100-megawatt geothermal plants
5,000 0.75-megawatt wave devices
3,400 1-megawatt tidal turbines

The study states that if California switched to wind, water and sunlight for renewable energy, air pollution-related deaths would decline by about 12,500 annually and the state would save about $103 billion, or about 4.9 percent of the state's 2012 gross domestic product, in related health costs every year. The study also estimates that resultant emissions decreases would reduce global climate change costs in 2050 such as coastal erosion and extreme weather damage by about $48 billion per year.

"I think the most interesting finding is that the plan will reduce social costs related to air pollution and climate change by about $150 billion per year in 2050, and that these savings will pay for all new energy generation in only seven years," said study co-author Mark Delucchi of the University of California, Davis.

"The technologies needed for a quick transition to an across-the-board, renewables-based statewide energy system are available today," said Anthony Ingraffea, a Cornell University engineering professor and study co-author. "Like New York, California has a clear choice to make: Double down on 20th-century f

Contact: Mark Z. Jacobson
Stanford University

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