A 100% renewable energy world is possible

September 21, 2015

Greenpeace's bi-annual Energy (R)evolution report, detailing how to deliver a global energy system that is 100 per cent renewable by 2050, was developed in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council and SolarPower Europe, shows how it remains technically and economically feasible to power the global economy using renewable energy.

Over the 10 years the (R)evolution report has been running it has proven to be remarkably prescient. As the report notes, "...our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy ....have proved to be accurate".

This is not the case for many mainstream estimates of renewable energy potential.  For example, in 2000, the IEA predicted global installed capacity for wind turbines would reach 32.5GW in 2010. In fact global wind capacity reached this number by early 2003, only two-and-a-half years later.

By 2014, the total cumulative capacity was about 370GW; or about 10 times more than the IEA's estimate of a decade earlier.

It is a similar story when mainstream predictions for the solar sector over the past 15 years are considered. Here is what current demand and supply curves look like. 

In contrast, Greenpeace's projections for renewables deployment have been broadly accurate.

"We have looked at our projections for solar and wind since 2000 and we are pretty much spot on with wind and actually a little bit too conservative with solar," reflects the report's lead author, Dr Sven Teske. "We have checked our own prognosis and for renewables we have been right on track, plus or minus five per cent. Where we have been less accurate is for energy demand, which has been higher than we expected because of the growth in China."

[Business Green]