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Renewable energy expected to provide 80% of global energy by 2050

Washington DC, United States — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 May 2011 – Renewable energy sources are expected to provide up to 80% of global energy supply by 2050, according to a new report published by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This was revealed by American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) communications editor Carl Levesque in the AWEA Windletter. He says that among the U.N. report’s points of emphasis is the fact that “wind power alone is capable of supplying more than 100% of future demand.”

Global Wind Energy Council secretary-general Steve Sawyer comments: “The report clearly demonstrates that renewable technologies could supply the world with more energy than it would ever need, and at a highly competitive cost.”

“The IPCC report will be a key reference for policy makers and industry alike, as it represents the most comprehensive high level review of renewable energy to date.”

The 1,000-page report “’ which was adopted by 194 governments after marathon negotiations last week, considers the potential contribution from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro, and ocean energy, as well as their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, their integration into the energy networks, their contribution to sustainable development, and the policies which are needed to put them in place.

Following a review of 164 scenarios, the IPCC found that renewables will play a key role in any successful plan to combat climate change. A rising number of technologies are already economically competitive, the report noted, and that trend will continue as more cost reductions and technology improvements are made, it said.

The scenarios assessed by the IPCC estimate that renewable energy can save between 220 and 560 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide in the period between 2010 and 2050. “One key message from the report is that renewable energy sources will be paramount in the global battle against climate change, and their role in saving greenhouse gas emissions will be considerably more important than that of natural gas, carbon capture and storage, or nuclear power,” said Sawyer.

“But it is up to policy makers to make this happen and one crucial opportunity for this will be the next round of climate negotiations in South Africa in December this year,” he added.