RENEWABLE energy sources are expected to contribute up to 80% of global energy supply by 2050, a new 1,000-page report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims.
The IPCC says renewables will play the major role in any successful plan to combat climate change. Moreover, this will be achieved competitively.
“The report clearly demonstrates that renewable technologies could supply the world with more energy than it would ever need,” said Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council.
Sawyer said the just published report, which has been endorsed by 194 countries, “represented the most comprehensive high level review” of renewable energy”.
In 2009, around 12.9% of the global primary energy supply, and 19% of the global electricity supply, was covered by renewable sources, including traditional biomass. The world’s wind power capacity now produces enough power to cover for around 2.5% of global electricity demand, and in the many scenarios examined by the IPCC, this share could increase tenfold to reach 25% in 2050.
Indeed, the total global potential for renewable energy “is substantially higher than both current and future projected global energy demand”, according to the IPCC.
The report added that the costs of integrating massive amounts of wind power were minimal, and said that wind power was “economically attractive” in the context of global climate change mitigation scenarios.
For renewables in general, the message is that many technologies are already competitive and their costs should continue to fall compared to non-renewables,
and that is without including the costs of the externalities of climate change.
However, the IPCC warned that commitments on support for offshore wind and marine generation
through the 2020s should be made now, but there had to be evidence of cost reduction before raising targets.