Thursday, 29 May 2014 22:53

Think Nearly 100% Renewable Energy in Less than 50 Years is Impossible? Think Again

Written by  Jessie
Wind Turbines Zephyr and Freedom in Moorhead, Minnesota Wind Turbines Zephyr and Freedom in Moorhead, Minnesota Source: Public Domain

Within one generation, by 2050, the U.S. can gradually and almost completely eliminate coal and nuclear power finds a new report out from Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council.  The report, "Energy [R]evolution – A Sustainable USA Energy Outlook," released last week details the steps we need to take to change greenhouse gas emitting systems such as electricity, heating and transportation.  If we follow the groups' blueprint, the country is estimated to reduce carbon emissions 39% percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 60% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This report is the latest in a series of global, national and regional Energy [R]evolution scenarios found at www.energyblueprint.info.  "The Energy [R]evolution demonstrates that transitioning to a renewable energy economy can free resources for economic development. It means more and better jobs, greater energy independence, and it is more democratic as citizens attain more control of energy production. Compared with the Energy Information Agency energy outlook, the transition to renewables creates more jobs at every stage of the energy transition, with more than 34% more jobs by 2030."

The Energy [R]evolution's goal is to, "wean the economy off dirty fuels as thoroughly and quickly as possible, and in a way that is technologically, politically, and ecologically realistic."  Although this report focuses on the United States, it is, "part of a global analysis showing how the international economy can transition to nearly 100% renewable energy by 2050, while assuming no new 'breakthrough technologies'."

Specifically, the report outlines how by 2050 renewable energy sources could provide:

  • Roughly 97% of U.S. electricity production
  • 94% of the country’s total heating and cooling demand
  • About 92% of America’s final energy demand

"The most recent National Climate Assessment makes it very clear that we need national policies to expedite a clean energy economy," said Kyle Ash, senior legislative representative for Greenpeace USA.

"Fortunately, the energy market is phasing out coal and phasing in renewable energy at a rapid pace, but this must be quickened to avoid climate consequences much worse than the wildfires, droughts, and superstorms the country is already experiencing," said Ash.

Indeed, the Energy [R]evolution sounds like a good way to start putting the brakes on global warming and engender the truly transformative change we must undertake immediately to avoid catastrophic climate change.  The time has come for us to embrace a low-carbon future.

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