Renewable Energy Could Provide 80 Percent of Global Demand

A solid connection between strong public policy and renewable energy could lead to a much cleaner global energy future.

| May 18, 2011

Nearly 80 percent of the global energy supply could be met by renewables by 2050 if backed by the correct public policies, a new United Nations report shows. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on May 9, indicates that the rising adoption of renewable energies could lead to cumulative greenhouse gas savings equivalent to 220 to 560 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2050. The upper end of the scenarios assessed, representing a cut of around a third in greenhouse gas emissions from business-as-usual projections, could assist in keeping concentrations of greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million.

The report's findings are contained in a summary of the "Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation." The summary is a short version of a roughly a thousand-page comprehensive assessment compiled by more than 120 leading experts from all over the world for the IPCC. The report noted that the substantial increase of renewables is very challenging technically and politically. The six renewable energy technologies reviewed included bioenergy, solar, power, geothermal power, hydropower, ocean energy, and wind energy. More than 160 existing scientific scenarios on the possible use of renewables by 2050 were reviewed.

Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy. 


7/15/2011 1:12:54 PM

to Mako - you do realize that "renewables" rely on cheap oil and coal to mine the rare earth materials, transport the rare earth materials to factories, construct the complex solar panels/windmills etc, install/service the solar panels/windmills... not to mention distributing the energy using a deteriorated energy grid not equiped to handle load balances from on again off again energy sources... along with a myriad of other problems like 90% of rare earth materials are in China.... but go ahead and keep on praying the god of "renewable" energy...

dave dee
7/12/2011 8:56:55 AM

If the GOP has its way, 100% of energy will come from oil and coal and the average temperature on Earth will be 95 degrees by 2050 and sea level will have risen 35ft, are they a great bunch of humans or what?

7/7/2011 11:58:36 AM

what a joke... 80% of the global energy can come from "renewables"???? I like mother earth news but when are the editors going to wake up to the reality that the free ride provided by cheap oil is OVER. Glad to see the other commentors aren't buying this claptrap. The message should be this: learn to live on less, a lot less.

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