The European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace believe that 100 percent of the world's energy could come from renewable sources by 2090. They've written up the blueprint in their Energy [R]evolution Report.
The report creates a scenario that includes biomass, geothermal, solar and wind energy providing the bulk of the world's power. While the development of those sources is key, the larger component of the scenario is major increases in efficiency. These gains would be made by instituting rooftop wind and solar so that energy is generated close to the consumer, as well as retrofitting and maximizing the efficiency of buildings, particularly through better insulation. The report claims that the bulk of these changes could be made by 2050.
This projection is exciting to think about, but there is one aspect that could prove unrealistic. The scenario sees an overall drop in energy usage by 2090, while our knowledge of increasing energy usage in developing countries contradicts this possibility. Even if we maximize efficiency, it would be close to impossible for usage to drop within that time frame.
Even so, I think this report is encouraging and is particularly helpful because it provides detailed scenarios on how our current situation could be reversed. But it also further confirms that the path will be hard and dependent on all of us cutting back on our energy use. As we've suspected all along, a quick fix doesn't exist.
written by ALD, October 31, 2008
written by teacher, November 01, 2008
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