Is a 100 Percent Renewable World by 2050 Possible? New Greenpeace Report Says Yes

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The 100% renewable movement keeps growing stronger. A new Greenpeace study shows how the world can transition from fossil fuels by 2050. The Energy [R]evolution scenario 2015 was completed in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The findings show a benefit for humanity on a global scale. Implementing these changes would stabilize global CO2 emissions by 2020 and reach nearly zero emissions by 2050.

Renewable Generation

Last year, according to the study, renewables accounted for 60 percent of new power generation worldwide. In the U.S. alone, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable generation reached 13 percent in 2014. This expansion has seen a dramatic reduction in cost, placing solar and wind on a competitive level with coal in most areas.

At this rate, by 2030 renewable capacity could triple from 21 percent to 64 percent globally, so that in the next 15 years nearly two thirds of the world’s energy could come from renewable sources.

Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

The Energy [R]evolution scenario calls for an incremental phase-out of fossil fuels at the same time as the renewable increase. The proposal begins with eliminating the most carbon intense fuel, lignite, by 2035. This would be followed by coal in 2045. Oil, then gas would complete the process by 2050.

Financial Benefits

This transition would be a win for both the environment and the bottom line. The report shows that while there would be an up-front annual investment of $1 trillion, this would be offset by the annual fuel savings of $1.7 trillion. The break even point would occur between 2025 and 2030.

Job Creation

The report finds that jobs in the renewable sector will increase significantly in the next 15 years. Worldwide, 20 million jobs could be created between 2020 and 2030.

Solar, in particular, would see impressive growth under this plan. The report predicts that the industry will grow to 9.7 million jobs, the equivalent of the number of jobs in the coal industry today.

Solar Growth

According to BSW Solar, current solar PV global installed capacity is 200 GW. The Energy [R]evolution scenario expects that by 2050, solar PV global installed capacity would grow to between 5,000 and 7,000 GW.

Earlier this summer, a similar report was released detailing how the U.S. could go 100 percent renewable by 2050. The Solutions Project is working to achieve 100 percent renewable energy as well. In the U.S., three cities have already achieved 100 percent renewable status, and more are moving in that direction. A clear message is being sent. The time for renewable energy is now.

 

 

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