100% renewable powered world now in reach

Generating all the world’s power from renewable sources is already a “tangible reality” and not simply a “long-term vision”, according to a new report.

The study, undertaken by university researchers in Finland and the and the Energy Watch Group (EWG), said that the global electricity system can run using renewables and storage during every hour throughout the year.

The report, which was launched at the United Nations’ COP23 climate change conference in Germany, said that switching to renewables would be cheaper than running the existing system on fossil fuels and nuclear power.

The total global average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for 100% renewables in 2050 will be €52/MWh – including curtailment, storage and some grid costs – the report predicted, compared to €70/MWh in 2015.

‘Political will’

Christian Breyer, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) Professor of Solar Economy and Chairman of the EWG Scientific Board, said: “A full decarbonisation of the electricity system by 2050 is possible for lower system cost than today based on available technology.

“Energy transition is no longer a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but of political will.”

The report assumed the world population will grow from 7.3 billion people in 2015 to 9.7 billion in 2050.

Global electricity demand for the power sector is forecast to increase from 24,310TWh in 2015 to around 48,800TWh by 2050.

‘Not a dollar more’

Hans-Josef Fell, EWG President, added: “There is no reason to invest one more dollar in fossil or nuclear power production.

“Renewable energy provides cost-effective power supply. All plans for a further expansion of coal, nuclear, gas and oil have to be ceased.

“More investments need to be channelled in renewable energies and the necessary infrastructure for storage and grids. Everything else will lead to unnecessary costs and increasing global warming.”

> Download the report