NO MORE FOSSIL FUELS – IT CAN HAPPEN
According to Energy (R)evolution 2008, a new report from Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), the citizens of the world can shift 100% to New Energy by 2090, have all the energy we want and profit from the change – IF we are willing to pay the price.
That depends on how fast we want to get where we sooner or later must and will go.
Here’s how the EREC and Greenpeace explain it: “…the additional costs for coal fuel from today until the year 2030 are as high as USD 15.9 trillion, more than is required to pay for the Energy [R]evolution.”
Is it worth the price?
The report: "Especially in the context of today's economic instability, investing in renewable energy technologies is a 'win-win-win' scenario: a win for energy security, a win for the economy and a win for the climate…"
The next question: What about the developing world?
According to the report, the move to New Energy must begin in the developed world. When the technology is ready, the transition will be of such great benefit to the nations of the developing world, they will welcome it as an opportunity.
G. Ananthapadmanabhan, programme director, Greenpeace International: "Countries like China and India are well placed to take the enormous investment opportunity presented by the energy revolution…The energy revolution is key to them climate-proofing their development."
The report predicts the plan will, by mid-century, create a $360 billion (E285 billion) industry with the capacity to provide half of the world's power. The process will first bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak in 2015 and then start cutting per capita emissions as well as future fuel costs. By 2050, it foresees $18 trillion in fuel cost savings with per capita emissions reduced from 4 tonnes/person to 1 tonne/person.
The plan identifies 5 key principles that must guide the shift to New Energy: (1) New Energy and distributed solutions, (2) respect for the environment’s limits, (3) a phase-out of dirty, unsustainable Old Energy, (4) resource equity, and (5) decoupling of economic development and fossil fuel consumption.
The EREC and Greenpeace believe the technology is ready. All that is lacking is the political commitment.
Sven Teske, energy expert/report co-author, Greenpeace International: "Unlike other energy scenarios that promote energy futures at the cost of the climate, our energy revolution scenario shows how to save money and maintain global economic development without fuelling catastrophic climate change…All we need to kick start this plan is bold energy policy from world leaders."
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World can halt fossil fuel use by 2090: study
Alistair Doyle (w/Peter Millership), October 27, 2008 (Reuters)
Greenpeace offers ‘blueprint’ for climate, economic crises
October 27, 2008 (AFP)
New global energy strategy tackles climate change saving USD 18 trillion in fuel costs
27 October 2008 (European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace International)
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC); Greenpeace International (Sven Teske, leading author, report); The International Energy Agency (IEA); Rajendra Pachauri, head, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Energy (R)evolution 2008 is a "practical blueprint" to eliminate fossil fuel use through an investment in New Energy revolution that would stop global climate change and turn the global financial crisis around when the investment begins paying for itself through energy savings.
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- Through 2030: The crucial period of investment, requiring $14.7 trillion.
- Eliminating coal by 2050: A more radical scenario, bigger investment in New Energy.
- Eliminating fossil fuels by 2090: With trillions of dollars invested in New Energy, the global market could grow at double digit rates and be bigger than today's fossil fuel industry by mid-century.
- The New Energy marketplace: Almost doubled from 2006 to 2007 ($70+ billion).
- The New Energy marketplace: Could more than double to 30% of world energy by 2030 and get to 50% by 2050.
- China, India and emerging economies: Access to energy can be maintained through the transition if established economies cut demand and emissions by transitioning to New Energy and energy efficiency.
- The report was presented in Berlin.
- The report sees the world entirely fueled by New Energy (solar, wind, hydrokinetic, biogas, etc.) by 2090.
- The 210-page report’s publishing groups see climate change as the crucial factor driving the transition.
- The report looks in detail at how energy use would have to be changed to meet the IPCC’s call for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
- The EREC/Greenpeace plan would cut emissions enough to prevent a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) from the pre-Industrial Revolution norm.
Measures called for:
(1) A phase-out of subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy;
(2) International "cap and trade" systems for greenhouse gas emissions;
(3) Legally binding international targets for New Energy capacities;
(4) Rigorous international efficiency standards for buildings and vehicles.
- The International Energy Agency (IEA) foresees New Energy investments of just $11.3 trillion to 2030 and expects the world to remain dependent on fossil fuels and nuclear power through mid-century.
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- From the Report: "Renewable energy could provide all global energy needs by 2090…"
- Rajendra Pachauri, head, IPCC: "[The study is] comprehensive and rigorous…Even those who may not agree with the analysis presented would, perhaps, benefit from a deep study of the underlying assumptions…"
- Sven Teske, lead author, Greenpeace: "The current unstable market situation is a strong argument for our energy (r)evolution concept…We had a 'dot.com bubble' and a 'finance bubble' - but I'm confident that we will not have a renewables bubble - as the need for energy is real - and growing especially in developing nations…"
- Oliver Schaefer, Policy Director, EREC: "[R]enewable energies such as wind power at good sites are already competitive with conventional power. From around 2015 onwards, we are confident that renewable energies across all sectors will be the most cost effective…The renewable industry is ready and able to deliver the needed capacity to make the energy revolution a reality. There is no technical impediment but a political barrier to rebuild the global energy sector…"