80% of global energy from renewables by 2050 – IPCC

The panel established to enforce the United Nations work against climate change believes 80% of our energy needs could be met by renewables by the middle of this century.

However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says this would only be possible if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report.

The work Prospects for Renewable Energy and the Review of Processes and Procedures of the IPCC Top its Two Sessions in Abu Dhabi is the result of intense talks last week and released yesterday (May 9).

The work involved more than 120 researchers working with the IPCC and also claimed the rise of renewable energies could lead to cumulative greenhouse gas savings equivalent to between 220 and 560 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide saving between 2010 and 2050.

This could contribute towards a goal of holding the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius – an aim recognized in the United Nations Climate Convention’s Cancun Agreements.

Chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, said: “The IPCC brought together the most relevant and best available information to provide the world with this scientific assessment of the potential of renewable energy sources to mitigate climate change.

“The Special Report can serve as a sound knowledge basis for policymakers to take on this major challenge of the 21st century.”

The report reviewed the potential of six renewable energy technologies:

·Bioenergy, including energy crops; forest, agricultural and livestock residues and so called second generation biofuels

·Direct solar energy including photovoltaics and concentrating solar power

·Geothermal energy, based on heat extraction from the Earth’s interior

·Hydropower, including run-of-river, in-stream or dam projects with reservoirs

·Ocean energy, ranging from barrages to ocean currents and ones which harness temperature differences in the marine realm

·Wind energy, including on- and offshore systems

Luke Walsh

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