Renewables can replace fossil fuels by 2050

22.09.2015
Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council have released the Energy [R]evolution 2015 report. (Graphic: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council have released the Energy [R]evolution 2015 report. (Graphic: Greenpeace)

Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council have released a new report. It shows the way towards an energy sector powered by 100 % renewable energy, which is at the same time said to be the only chance to meet the agreed target of keeping global mean temperature rise below 2°C.

The report Energy [R]evolution 2015 shows the way towards an energy sector powered by 100 % renewable energy. According to the authors, the Energy [R]evolution scenario or something very much like it is required if we are to have a reasonable chance of meeting the agreed target of keeping global mean temperature rise below 2°C.

"We now have competitive technologies which can solve the major part of the climate problem – carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector," said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). "What is needed now is the political will to enact the appropriate policies and fiscal and regulatory measures to implement them fully." According to Sven Teske of Greenpeace, the lead author of the report, "wind and solar technologies are mainstream now, and are cost-competitive with coal today. It is very likely that they will overtake the coal industry in terms of jobs and energy supplied within the next decade."

The Energy [R]evolution 2015 shows how this transformation is possible and how much it would cost, as well as its impact on employment in the energy sector. The report updates previous Energy [R]evolution scenarios, and for the first time offers an Advanced scenario with a 100 % renewable energy supply, as well as providing an extrapolation of the IEA's World Energy Outlook Current Policies scenario for comparison purposes.

In both the Energy [R]evolution and Advanced scenarios wind power is the largest source of electricity globally by 2050, supplying about 30 % and 32 % respectively. The wind industry alone could employ 8 million people by 2030, nearly 10 times more than today, which is almost twice as many people as currently employed by the oil and gas industry.

Within 15 years, renewables' share of electricity generation would triple from 21 % today to 64 % – covering nearly two-thirds of global electricity demand. In countries with rapid renewables deployment such as Brazil, China and India, CO2 emissions could go down by a third.

Steve Sawyer concluded: "The new Energy [R]evolution 2015 clearly shows that the renewable energy revolution is underway, and it's unstoppable. The question the politicians in Paris need to answer is: Will they help make it happen in time to save the climate?"

Katharina Garus/GWEC

Energy Revolution 2015 Full Report

Energy Revolution 2015 Executive Summary

Energy Revolution 2015 Key Messages


Development of global energy investments under the 100 % Energy [R]evolution case (Source: Greenpeace)

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