It’s hip to talk about renewable energy these days, but do you ever wonder how realistic it would be to convert all our energy to renewable sources such as wind and solar? A recent collaborative study between Stanford and UC Berkeley found that actually the entire world could be powered by renewables as early as 2050, given the right kind of research and investment. The researchers looked at maps to estimate what various types of energy demands will be like in the future all over the world, and concluded that an entirely renewable world isn’t as distant of a possibility as we might think.

Part of the reason that the researchers decided they believe in a renewable world had to do with the continually falling price of renewable energy sources. Wind energy, for instance, is already cheaper than natural gas, so in the coming years the price of converting to or building new renewable power sources won’t be quite as intimidating as it is now. Additionally, researchers mentioned that converting to renewable energy sources will lower health care costs that would otherwise result from poor air quality caused by polluting fuels.

Climate change has been on the world’s radar for many years, and gets framed quite differently depending on who you talk to. Some see climate change as a very imminent threat to human existence on the planet, while others don’t quite believe that it’s happening. Which side is right?

Well, it turns out there might be some truth to both beliefs. New research suggests that the most dangerous effects of climate change might actually be about a century away. So while climate change is certainly coming, this new information might actually be positive news for our chances of impacting its progression. If we act now and over the next few years, we may actually have enough time to achieve that fully renewable vision before the dangerous side effects of climate change kick in. With enough planning, human beings should be able to stick around the planet for quite a while yet to come.