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100% Renewable Energy Can Be Achieved By 2050

“Many young people are depressed because they feel climate change cannot be stopped. We want to offer them hope by showing that our world can get all its energy needs from renewables at a price below that of fossil fuels. When we first proposed this, we were ridiculed, but this paper shows our ideas are now scientific mainstream", says Auke Hoekstra from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Sunlight flooding through the branches of an old oak tree

The good news is that a global energy system that is 100 percent based on renewables has emerged to become scientific mainstream.

Key pillars of this new energy system are solar and wind energy, energy storage, sector coupling, and electrification of all energy and industry sectors implying power-to-X and hydrogen-to-X solutions, complemented by upcoming carbon dioxide removal to help stabilize the climate. The topical review, published in IEEE Access, is entitled “On the History and Future of 100% Renewable Energy Systems Research”

“According to the United Nations, over 160 firms with $70 trillion in assets are committed to decarbonize the global economy, which means phasing out fossil fuels by 2050. Our research has shown that we have the technologies to implement a global energy supply based entirely on renewable energy", says Dr. Sven Teske, Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

“The science clearly shows that a global 100% renewable energy supply is technically and economically possible. The next step is for our research to be included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s assessment reports, which are currently based on outdated energy scenario research”, Teske continues.

Initially, the research of 100 percent renewable energy systems encountered strong skepticism. Such skepticism is now long gone. Now, leading researchers of the 100 percent renewable energy systems research community have combined their views - more than 20 authors from 15 organizations and 9 countries contributed to this joint research - and their conclusion is: 100 percent renewable energy can be achieved by 2050.

“The technologies are already there. The substantial evidence presented is already also empirical evidence in several regions and countries. The ability to exploit synergies across energy efficiency, electrification, district heating and electrofuels is certainly proven. Now decision makers have to stop all new investments in fossil fuels and focus on creating renewable energy based smart energy systems“, says Brian V. Mathiesen, Aalborg University, Denmark.


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