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12 May 2011 10:05:07

Renewables could meet almost 80% of energy demand

Renewables could meet almost 80% of energy demand
As much as 77 percent of world energy demand could be met by renewable sources by 2050, providing the correct government policies are put in place, research claims.

The new analysis produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focussed on six renewable energy technologies – bioenergy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy – and assessed both current and future deployment scenarios.

Under the most optimistic projections, almost 80 percent of global energy demand could be met by renewable sources by mid century. Total energy demand is expected to be 314 and 407 exajoules of energy, with the lower figure equating to three times the current energy supply of the US.

The least optimistic scenario saw renewables meeting just 15 percent of energy supply, based on a total demand of 749 exajoules.

"With consistent climate and energy policy support, renewable energy sources can contribute substantially to human well-being by sustainably supplying energy and stabilising the climate," Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of working group III, said.

However, he said the task was both "technically and politically very challenging".

Work is currently underway on the IPCCs Fifth Assessment Report, which is due to be completed in 2013/14. ADNFCR-1235-ID-800529247-ADNFCR

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