Launch of a comprehensive global energy strategy sets out a blueprint for tackling climate change

Press release - 25 January, 2007
Renewable energy, combined with efficiencies from the ‘smart use’ of energy, can deliver half of the world’s energy needs by 2050, according to one of the most comprehensive plans for future sustainable energy provision, launched today.

The report: 'Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook',produced by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and GreenpeaceInternational, provides a practical blueprint for how to cut global CO2emissions by almost 50% within the next 43 years, whilst providing asecure and affordable energy supply and, critically, maintaining steadyworldwide economic development. Notably, the plan takes into accountrapid economic growth areas such as China, India and Africa, andhighlights the economic advantages of the energy revolution scenario.It concludes that renewable energies will represent the backbone of theworld's economy - not only in OECD countries, but also in developingcountries such as China, India and Brazil. The plan states thatrenewable energies have the potential to deliver nearly 70% of globalelectricity supply and 65% of global heat supply by 2050.

"TheEnergy Revolution scenario comes as the world is crying out for aroadmap for tackling the dilemma of how to provide the power we allneed, without fuelling climate change," said Sven Teske energy expertof Greenpeace International. "We have shown that the world can havesafe, robust renewable energy, that we can achieve the efficienciesneeded and we can do all this whilst enjoying global economic growthand phasing out damaging and dangerous sources such as coal andnuclear, " he continued. "Renewable energies are competitive, ifgovernments phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels andintroduce the `polluter-pays principle`. We urge politicians to banthose subsidies by 2010."

However, the report also highlightsthe short time window for making the key decisions in energyinfrastructure, which will have to be made by governments, investmentinstitutions and utility companies. Within the next decade, many of theexisting power plants in the OECD countries will come to the end oftheir technical lifetime and will need to be replaced, whilstdeveloping countries such as China, India and Brazil are rapidlybuilding up new energy infrastructure to service their growingeconomies.

Arthouros Zervos, president of the European RenewableEnergy Industry Council (EREC) said: "The global market for renewableenergy can grow at a double digit rate till 2050, and achieve the sizeof today's fossil fuel industry. Wind and solar markets, already worthUS$ 38 billion, are doubling in size every three years. We thereforecall on decision makers around the world to make this vision a reality.The political choices of the coming years will determine the world'senvironmental and economic situation for many decades to come.Renewable energy can and will have to play a leading role in theworld's energy future. There is no technical but a political barrier tomake this shift."

The report was developed in conjunction withspecialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at theGerman Aerospace Centre (DLR) and more than 30 scientists and engineersfrom universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry aroundthe world. It provides the first comprehensive global energy conceptwhich gives a detailed analysis of how to restructure the global energysystem based only on a detailed regional assessment for the potentialof proven renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and theutilisation of efficient, decentralised cogeneration. The Energy[R]evolution scenario is compared in the report to the effects on CO2emissions (and, thereby climate change) of carrying on with a 'businessas usual' scenario, that scenario being provided by the InternationalEnergy Association's breakdown of 10 world regions, as used in theongoing series of World Energy Outlook reports.

A copy of the Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook report can be downloaded at:

www.greenpeace.org/energyrevolution and www.energyblueprint.info

Other contacts: Oliver Schäfer, Policy Director of EREC, +32 496 65 2837 Sven Teske, Greenpeace International renewable energy campaign, + 31 62129 68 94 Isabel Leal, Greenpeace International media officer, + 31 20 718 2470

Notes: The Energy [R]evolution scenario describes a development pathway which transforms the present situation into a sustainable energy supply, within a single generation. Exploitation of the large energy efficiency potential will reduce primary energy demand from the current 435,000 PJ/a (Peta Joules per year) to 422,000 PJ/a by 2050. Under the ‘business as usual’ scenario there would be an increase to 810,000 PJ/a, and a quadrupling of electricity costs. This dramatic reduction is a crucial prerequisite for developing a significant share of renewable energy sources, compensating for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.1. The report was commissioned by Greenpeace and EREC from the Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment (Institute of Technical Thermodynamics) at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). 2. The report develops a global sustainable energy pathway up to 2050. The future potential for renewable energy sources has been assessed with input from all sectors of the renewable energy industry around the world, and forms the basis of the Energy [R]evolution Scenario. 3. The energy supply scenarios adopted in this report, which both extend beyond and enhance projections by the International Energy Agency, have been calculated using the MESAP/PlaNet simulation model. This has then been further developed by the Ecofys consultancy to take into account the future potential for energy efficiency measures. 4. The Energy [R]evolution Scenario describes a development pathway which transforms the present situation into a sustainable energy supply through the following mechanisms: • Exploitation of the large energy efficiency potential will reduce primary energy demand from the current 435,000 PJ/a (Peta Joules per year) to 422,000 PJ/a by 2050. Under the reference scenario there would be an increase to 810,000 PJ/a. This dramatic reduction is a crucial prerequisite for achieving a significant share of renewable energy sources, compensating for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. • The increased use of combined heat and power generation (CHP) also improves the supply system’s energy conversion efficiency, increasingly using natural gas and biomass. In the long term, decreasing demand for heat and the large potential for producing heat directly from renewable energy sources limits the further expansion of CHP. • The electricity sector will be the pioneer of renewable energy utilisation. By 2050, around 70% of electricity will be produced from renewable energy sources, including large hydro. An installed capacity of 7,100 GW will produce 21,400 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/a) of electricity in 2050. • In the heat supply sector, the contribution of renewables will increase to 65% by 2050. Fossil fuels will be increasingly replaced by more efficient modern technologies, in particular biomass, solar collectors and geothermal. • Before biofuels can play a substantial role in the transport sector, the existing large efficiency potentials have to be exploited. In this study, biomass is primarily committed to stationary applications; the use of biofuels for transport is limited by the availability of sustainably grown biomass. • By 2050, half of primary energy demand will be covered by renewable energy sources.

Exp. contact date: 2007-02-25 00:00:00

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