A global energy system with a 90-per cent share of renewable energy sources and dominated by solar is not only possible by 2050 – it will also be cheaper.
A 4-year study from Finnish-based LUT University and German-based Energy Watch Group (the LUT report) found that the most effective, quickest and cheapest means was to switch just about everything to electricity, and power it with solar and other renewable energy technologies.
“A global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport, and desalination before 2050 is feasible,” the study concludes. Moreover, it will be good for jobs – resulting in employment for 35 million people worldwide.
“The energy transition is not a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will.”
This latter point is an emerging theme. It has been noted by energy researchers in the US, by China’s State Grid, by the National Grid in the UK, and in Australia.
The major finding of the LUT report is that the shift to electrify just about everything – heat, manufacturing, transport and desalination – combined with a growing population and economic growth means that total global electricity generation will be four to five times higher 2050 than it was in 2015, or 150,000 terawatt hours.