The world can achieve 100% renewableby 2050, and 85 % renewables in just 15 years, a Greenpeace evaluation suggests.
The 2015 Energy [R]evolution report, the current in a series that has provided the most precise predictions of any primary evaluations, globally, states that for the first time, the pathway to 100% renewables is cost-neutral. Furthermore, no novel technological enhancements are required, the report states.
“It’s basically political will,” Emily Rochon, a global energy strategist at Greenpeace, told ThinkProgress. “The primary premise of the Energy [R]evolution scenario is we have all of the solutions already on the table to get there.”
According to the report, world’s carbon emissions are expected to be stabilized by 2020 and would reach zero in 2050. Fossil fuels would be die out, starting with the major carbon-intensive sources. By 2030, two-thirds of the global electricity could be derived from renewables like wind and solar.
The report said the shift in aspiration reflected in the report over the potential penetration of renewables worldwide was a consequence of the transition is based on the reasonable phenomenon made by in current years by renewable energy technologies, particularly wind and solar.
“Dynamic change is taking place in the energy sector. Renewable energies have become mainstream in most countries, and prices have fallen dramatically,” the report said.
“The report shows we could transform our energy supply, switching to renewables, which would mean a stabilisation of global CO2 emissions by 2020, and bringing down emissions towards near zero emissions in 2050.”
But in order to achieve such targets, various measures need to be considered, said the report. Firstly, the understanding of a strong, legally-binding carbon emissions cut target at the COP21 climate talks in Paris at the end of 2015 is required.
“The Paris climate agreement must deliver a long term vision for phasing out coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy by mid-century,” Greenpeace stated.
In spite of the major advances, headed by solar and wind, in making electricity generation carbon emission free, the analysis stated the major challenge would be to discontinue the use of fossil fuel in heating and transportation, in particular transportation.
Based on this, the Greenpeace survey stated a “technical revolution” was required, signifying more R&D, in particular aviation and shipping R&D.
“But planes and ships could be powered using bio fuels, hydrogen and synthetic fuels produced using electricity. So electricity demand will go up, but it will be generated with renewable energy,” the report mentioned.
The report stressed that the investment costs for the transition to 100 percent renewable energy would be large – approximately US$1 trillion every year. But since renewables is fuel-free, it stated the savings will be huge – US$1.07 trillion every year; probably the costs of the switch would be achieved fully by the fuel cost savings, with a “cross-over” in this equation happening between 2025 and 2030.
“There are no major economic or technical barriers to moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. It just requires the political will to make the change,” the report ended.