Energy revolution - A sustainable world energy outlook
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace International have produced this global energy scenario as a practical blueprint for how to urgently meet CO2 reduction targets and secure affordable energy supply on the basis of steady worldwide economic development.
This report demonstrates that renewable energy is not a dream for the future – it is real, mature and can be deployed on a large scale. Decades of technological progress have seen renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels, biomass power plants and solar thermal collectors move steadily into the mainstream. The global market for renewable energy is growing dramatically; in 2006 its turnover was US$ 38 billion, 26% more than the previous year.
The time window for making the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is still relatively short. Within the next decade many of the existing power plants in the OECD countries will come to the end of their technical lifetime and will need to be replaced. But a decision taken to construct a coal power plant today will result in the production of CO2 emissions lasting until 2050. So whatever plans are made by power utilities over the next few years will define the energy supply of the next generation.
Authors call on decision makers around the world to make this vision a reality. The political choices of the coming years will determine the world’s environmental and economic situation for many decades to come. They also state that the world cannot afford to stick to the ‘conventional’ energy development path, relying on fossil fuels, nuclear and other outdated technologies and renewable energy can and will have to play a leading role in the world’s energy future.