100% renewable by 2050- Possible or too optimistic?

When it comes to energy, there have long been discussions about whether it would ever be possible to run the world using renewable sources. Just in the latter part of 2011, there was an energy report written regarding how we may be able to solve the problems of climate change by 2050. But, how feasible is this notion?

The Danish government proposed that before 2020 wind turbines will produce around half of the electricity the country needs as the first part of the long-term plan. Green energy is something being looked at across the globe, and organisations like Good Energy are keen to fulfil a vision to have renewable energy in the UK creating 100% of the country’s power ahead of 2050.

The truth about renewable energy

We are all told that green energy is important, but how true is it? The fact is that we have a problem, one with climate change and our need for fossil fuels. The burning of these fuels contributes almost three quarters of our man-made emissions – making us a global threat to ourselves.

With this in mind, it is a no brainer for us to attempt for a 100% renewable energy world by 2050 but can we achieve this?

The possibilities

A new future is highly achievable by this plan, and if this happens then almost €4 trillion every year will be saved across the globe thanks to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency. Almost a decade earlier than the 2050 target, fossil fuel reliance will have been reduced by as much as 70% if we work together.

It’s so simple to think that we could use the hand that we’ve been dealt to get the most out of our lives. The sun, sea and wind are three sources of renewable energy that have the potential to produce enough power to support the whole world – many times over. Additionally, there are simple measures like recycling and efficient insulating that can go a long way in pushing us in this direction.

The challenges

As with everything in life, sacrifices need to be understood and undertaken for the greater good. Our reliance on fossil fuels is the reason as to why we are in this mess in the first place, and to get to the other side will take a long transition to green energy.

There are many challenges ahead, and there are two key technical factors that will go a long way in deciding whether we will meet the targets set. These are: reducing demand through the reduction in wasteful energy while mixing this with an improvement in energy efficiency. Similarly, renewables are the best source for heat and electricity so maximising the use of this will go a long way in securing a sustainable energy future.

Elsewhere, it’s important to know that for the best future we need to understand all factors. Both nature and people will be affected through how we use the resources offered to use by the seas, water and land. We must be sure that our lifestyle changes will play a useful role in this while countries need to strengthen governance and consider finance systems to incorporate the innovation.

One of the biggest challenges is understanding the initial investment that we need in order for us to achieve our long-term goals. The keys will be the suitable management of efficiency measures, the land system and our renewable fuel supply while also the fast deployment of ambitious electrification which will fulfil the demands of the world.

 

3 comments to 100% renewable by 2050- Possible or too optimistic?

  • I would love to actually see this happen but in reality it probably won’t. We can’t even get people to make small household changes without a fuss. Sadly, without the change to be greener coming from the person themselves a new reality isn’t possible. There is only so much government manipulation that can be done before the ownership is on us, as citizens.

  • I think it’s fair to say we are on track for some wonderful progress. It will still take some leaps in technology that have yet to occur. I see solar cost dropping on a beautiful curve, but we need storage technology to improve. We need to get through the nights first, and then the cloudy days as well. Maybe wind will fill that gap in some areas.

    Cars need to go in the other direction. Electrify the road itself, lower the size and weight of the on board battery, and you need minimal range. Perhaps 50 miles would do it.

    I’m optimistic, and look forward to this, but I see a curve that’s first steep, getting to 90%, then 95, but a struggle after that.

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