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Renewables could meet 80% of global energy demand

Renewable energies could meet nearly 80% of the world’s energy demand by 2050 – that was the main message contained in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on renewable energy launched last week. The message was spread far and wide: here is a selection of the media coverage from around the globe.

In France, La Tribune reported that expanding the use of renewables could keep the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450ppm – the level that scientists agree will keep global warming below the 2°C rise identified as dangerous for our planet. La Tribune also noted that a growing renewables sector could avoid 220 to 560 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent between 2010 and 2050. Only 2.5% of the potential of renewable energies is currently being exploited, the paper added.

Les Echos noted that the IPCC report says that a significant expansion of renewables can only be achieved with the right policies in place. The BBC echoed this opinion in its article quoting Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC working group that produced the report: “With consistent climate and energy policy support, renewable energy sources can contribute substantially to human well-being by sustainably supplying energy and stabilising the climate.”

In the UK, the Guardian added that the cost of investing in renewables to the extent needed would only amount to about 1% of global GDP. While Reuters said that the costs of renewable energies is likely to fall.  Additionally the Guardian noted that renewables are already growing fast – of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity added globally between 2008 and 2009, about  140 GW came from renewables such as wind. The Times of India also noted this expansion saying that “signs of a surge in green power are evident.”

AFP highlighted that renewable sources are widely competitive with fossil fuels and technically, they have almost “limitless potential”.

New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald said of the report: conservative estimates suggest that by 2015 the global renewable energy sector will create over 11 million jobs, 3 million more than in a scenario where we continue to rely on fossil fuels and nuclear energy

Meanwhile, many EWEA blog followers read EWEA’s CEO, Christian Kjaer’s report live from the IPCC negotiations in Abu Dhabi. In it Kjaer wrote that the renewable energies report found that “the total potential for renewables is ‘substantially higher than both the current and projected future global energy demand’”. If you’re yet to read it, click here.

Source : http://blog.ewea.org/2011/05/renewables-could-meet-80-of-global-energy-demand/#more-1602