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Transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 will be cost-effective: Study

Transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 will be cost-effective: Study

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The study also finds that a 100 per cent renewable electricity system will employ 35 million people worldwide with roughly 9 million jobs in the coal mining sector from 2015 getting phased out completely by 2050

New Delhi: A transition of the global energy system to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 is possible and would be cost-effective as compared to the current fossil fuel-driven scenario, according to a latest study by think-tank Energy Watch Group (EWG) and Finland-based LUT University.

“The transition to 100 per cent renewable energy is economically competitive with the current fossil and nuclear-based system, and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero even before 2050,” the study titled “Global Energy System Based on 100 per cent Renewable Energy” said.

The study also finds that a 100 per cent renewable electricity system will employ 35 million people worldwide with roughly 9 million jobs in the coal mining sector from 2015 getting phased out completely by 2050. They will be overcompensated by over 15 million new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“100 per cent renewables are more cost-effective. The energy costs for a fully-sustainable energy system will decrease from €54 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2015 to €53 per MWh in 2050. The transition in all sectors will reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector continuously from roughly 30 gigatonne of Carbon-Dioxide equivalent (GtCO2-eq) in 2015 to zero by 2050,” according to the study released today.

The global primary energy generation in the 100 per cent renewable energy system will consist of 69 per cent solar energy, 18 per cent wind power, 3 per cent hydropower, 6 per cent bioenergy and 2 per cent geothermal energy. The study states that by 2050 wind and solar power will account for 96 per cent of the total power supply of renewable energy sources.

“The report confirms that a transition to 100 per cent renewables is possible across all sectors, and is no more expensive than the current energy system,” said Hans-Josef Fell, former member of the German Parliament and President of the EWG. “It shows that the whole world can make the transition to a zero-emission energy system. Thanks to the developed model and the extensive existing database, EWG and LUT can now also develop national roadmaps for the transition to 100 per cent renewables, tailored precisely for the individual countries’ respective context,” he added.

The study is a first-of-its-kind initiative to outline a 1.5 degrees Celsius scenario with a cost-effective, cross-sectoral, technology-rich global 100 per cent renewable energy system that does not build on negative emission technologies. The scientific modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport, and desalination sectors by 2050. It is based on four-and-a-half years of research and analysis of data, as well as technical and financial modelling by 14 scientists.

The transition to 100 per cent renewable energy will require mass electrification in all the energy sectors. Based on the analysis, the total electricity generation in 2050 will be four to five times higher than electricity generation in 2015. Accordingly, electricity consumption in 2050 will account for more than 90 per cent of the primary energy consumption. At the same time, consumption of fossil and nuclear energy resources in all sectors will cease completely.

Source: energy.economictimes.indiatimes

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network