Greenpeace – 95% Renewable Energy Without Slow Growth
Greenpeace outlined a scenario in which 95 percent of energy generation comes from renewable sources by 2050 while creating 12 million jobs, for a price tag of around $18 trillion in global investment, resulting in an 80 percent decrease in CO2 emissions.
According to the Greenpeace report, Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook, such a drastic revolution in energy production is necessary, since even a 50 percent decrease in CO2 emissions by 2050 might not be enough to prevent runaway climate change scenarios. Under the Greenpeace scenario, CO2 emissions will peak in 2015 before dropping by more than 80 percent by 2050.
In its first edition of the Energy [R]evolution report in 2007, Greenpeace had predicted that 156 GW of renewable energy would be produced in 2010. As of the end of 2009, 158 GW were being produced.
The report makes several policy recommendations, such as phasing out all subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuel businesses, establishing legally binding targets for renewable energy, and strict efficiency standards. According to the report, conventional fuel sources receives an estimated $250 – 300 billion in worldwide subsidies, with coal alone receiving $63 billion.
The Energy [R]evolution scenario outlines a scenario which creates about 12 million jobs, with 8.5 million in the renewables sector alone, by 2030. Without adopting the policy recommendations of the report, however, only 2.4 million renewable jobs will be created. The renewable energy sector already employees two million people worldwide. The policy recommendations also state that the market for renewable technology will increase from $100 billion today to more than $600 billion by 2030.
Actual energy consumption is expected to increase up to 60 percent by 2050, according to the report. Implementing the policy recommendations in the report, including improved insulation and design for buildings, implementing efficiency standards and replacing heating systems with renewable technology, would decrease energy consumption by 20 percent.
Greenpeace also reported that renewable energy resources alone have the potential to generate up to 32 times current global power demands.
The report estimates potential savings in fuel costs of switching to renewable systems at $282 billion per year. However, the annual investment necessary between now and 2030 is estimated to be $782 billion, though without further investment costs beyond that time horizon. Under current policies, Greenpeace estimates global energy investment of $11.2 trillion dollars from now until 2030, while under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, global investment reaches $17.9 trillion.
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