Monday, June 7, 2010

Satisfying 79% of Global Electricity Needs by Renewable Sources

The 3rd edition of the Greenpeace International's flagship 'Energy [R]evolution' report is out. Although there's a more aggressive scenario (called 'Advanced E[R]' scenario) simulated in this report, I'll focus on their main scenario here.

Their main targets based on the 'Energy [R]evolution' scenario are to reduce energy related CO2 emissions by 50% from their 1990 levels, phase out global nuclear energy by 2050, and produce 79% of the worldwide electricity from renewable energy sources.

The following figures explain how those targets are achieved step-by-step from 2007 to 2050, while the targets are compared with reference and advanced scenarios.
  • Targets 1 and 2: Reduce energy related CO2 emissions by 50% from their 1990 levels and phase out global nuclear energy by 2050

  • Target 3: Produce 79% of the worldwide electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050

According to the report, the main energy [r]evolution scenario can be achieved by five principles:
  • Implement renewable solutions, especially through decentralised energy systems
  • Respect the natural limits of the environment
  • Phase out dirty, unsustainable energy sources
  • Create greater equity in the use of resources
  • Decouple economic growth from the consumption of fossil fuels
The assumptions and data used in the report are quite reasonable, reliable, and persuasive. Whether you agree with the Greenpeace or not, you'd better read through this 260-page-long report before reaching at your own conclusion.

Source: Teske, S., Zervos, A., Lins, C., Muth, J., et al. (2010). Energy [r]evolution: a sustainable global energy outlook (3rd ed.). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Greenpeace International; Brussels, Belgium: European Renewable Energy Council (EREC). [Full-text at]

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