More endorsements could follow. "We have a panel of experts currently reviewing the plan who will decide on their endorsement once the final plan is released in a couple of months," Wright said.
So far, the group has not received any real backlash from opponents. "It seems the fossil fuel industry and other vested interests, as well as their media representatives, have decided not to attack us," Wright added. "Perhaps they do not want to bring attention to such a legitimate project."
The group has issued a on how to zero CO2 emissions from the electricity sector. A full report will be released in the coming months, followed by studies on carbon-free transportation, industrial processes, buildings, land use and agriculture, and plans for replacing coal exports.
Wind and solar power could completely displace conventional fossil fuels, with no new nuclear power needed, the report said.
"The reason people put their finger on the nuclear option is because they felt there was no other option. That's not the case today," Wright added. "We have renewables that do 24-hour firm power."
The claim comes as nuclear power advocates worldwide are pushing for the construction of new plants to slow down climate change.
The U.S. just guaranteed over $8 billion in loans for the first two nuclear plants in the nation in over 30 years. Some analysts see the move as the beginning of an atomic renaissance.
In a statement today on his Facebook page, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that "wind and solar are intermittent energy sources" and "nuclear power has to be on the table."
"Without technological breakthroughs in efficient, large scale energy storage, it will be difficult to rely on intermittent renewables for much more than 20-30 percent of our electricity," wrote Chu. "But nuclear power can provide large amounts of carbon-free power that is always available."
Rudd has ruled out a nuclear revival for Australia.
Australian skeptics paint the entire Beyond Zero Emissions plan as a pipe dream — especially so without new nuclear power.
"Because of irregularity, wind and sunshine can only feasibly contribute around 15 percent of the electricity load," said Alan Moran, director of the Deregulation Unit at Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, a free-market group.
For transportation, Moran is particularly unconvinced.
"It is impossible — certainly by 2020 and possibly ever — to envisage fuel for cars, planes and other transport being from renewable sources," he said. "Nuclear is a possibility — with batteries for cars — but even that would leave vast holes in supply and not be feasible for the whole transport fleet inside half a century."
Despite the naysayers, plans worldwide have sounded a similar note on a total renewable energy future.
A report presented last year by the German Advisory Council on Global Change, chaired by prominent climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, concluded that the U.S. must cut emissions 100 percent by 2020 to prevent the worst effects of climate change, while other major polluters have until 2025 or 2030 to produce carbon-free electricity.
More recently, Stanford University engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson and University of California-Davis researcher Mark Delucchi published a plan for 100% renewable energy for the entire world by 2030, fueled by a mix of solar, wind and hydroelectric power.
The construction costs for a global electricity shift of the kind envisioned in Australia, however, "might be" $100 trillion worldwide over 20 years, the authors said.