100% Renewable World
As we start the second decade of the 21st Century, a vision of a world that uses energy efficiently and relies only on renewable sources of energy is becoming clearer. This page is designed to build that vision. It includes links to published views and research from all over the world and begins to lay out the elements of how we would meet our community, transport and industrial needs through economic renewal, conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.
According to European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace, in their report Energy [r]evolution – A Sustainable World Energy Outlook 2010, renewable energy could supply 30% of the world’s energy by 2030 – all global energy needs by 2090.
In a companion report Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Canada Energy Outlook, Greenpeace Canada and EREC conclude that renewable energy and other green technologies could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the Canadian energy sector 45 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 82 per cent by 2050.
The Renewable Energy Network for 21st Century (REN 21) confirms this Canadian renewable energy potential estimating that renewable energy could supply 85% of Canada’s electricity and 65% of Canada’s heating and cooling by 2050.
Finally Mark Jacobson at Stanford University has showed that there is more than enough renewable energy available globally to meet all of our energy needs. His major study “A Plan for a Sustainable Future – How to get all of energy from solar, water and wind power by 2030” was published in 2009. Using Jacobson’s research, CanREA member Matthew McCarville from Eco-PEI has produced an excellent YouTube video “Powering Canada and the World Using Wind, Water and Sunlight” .
World electric power consumption in 2005 was 18.24 PWh/yr. More than 100 times this amount could be commercially produced from solar PV systems from the world’s rooftops and unused land. More than 20 times this amount could be commercially produced by wind farms in windy non-urban areas.
Wind and solar power are the fastest growing energy sources, and are being incorporated into the grid at higher and higher levels. Geographic distribution, coordination with hydro power, demand management, and large scale storage of power allow variable sources of power like wind and solar to provide base load and peaking power.
We can now say with confidence that renewable power sources could meet our future power needs just as effectively and maybe at lower cost than other alternatives like nuclear power and coal with carbon capture – and do so sooner.
Compare these costs expected during the next decade:
? Base load wind with storage = 8-12 cents/kWh
? Solar thermal base load = 12-20 cents
? New next generation nuclear = 12-22 cents/kWh rising with scarce uranium
? Coal + carbon capture = ~ 7-12 cents /kWh rising with increased fuel costs
Information and Data Sources
A vision of what a renewable world that is fair to all might look like and the policies we need to get there are set out in a new book by Miguel Mendonca and Herbert Girardet A Renewable World – Energy, Ecology, Equality. For more details on how to order or to download all or part of the book visit the World Future Council website.
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) has produced a blueprint that shows renewable energy could supply all global energy needs by 2090. The Renewable Energy Network for 21st Century (REN 21) has estimated the fraction of electricity, heating and cooling, and transport needs that could be met with renewable energy by 2050 for each of the world’s leading economies .
CanREA has produced two fact sheets and a slide presentation that illustrate why we should have this confidence in a renewable energy future. Download them today and leave a comment on how we can build more support for this future.
The fact sheet Renewable Power in the 21st Century outlines the benefits of renewable power sources and compares them with nuclear power and coal with carbon capture.
The fact sheet Six ways to provide base load power from Wind describes how power storage and other techniques can be used to provide continuous year round power from wind. For more information on power storage, read the Pembina Institute / CanREA primer “Storing Renewable Power”
The slide presentation Meeting our Needs with Renewable Energy covers both these topics and provides global statistics on the renewable energy transition.
A complete list of Data Sources and References is also available.