Energy Blue Print
Archive 2010

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

primary energy consumption

Taking into account the assumptions discussed above, the resulting global primary energy consumption under the Energy [R]evolution scenario is shown in Figure 6.11. Compared to the Reference scenario, overall primary energy demand will be reduced by 41% in 2050. More than half of the remaining demand will be covered by renewable energy sources. Note that because of the ‘efficiency method’ used for the calculation of primary energy consumption, which postulates that the amount of electricity generation from hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy equals the primary energy consumption, the share of renewables seems to be lower than their actual importance as energy suppliers.

The advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario would even achieve a renewable energy share of 39% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. In this projection almost the entire global electricity supply, including the majority of the energy used in buildings and industry, would come from renewable energy sources. The transport sector, in particular aviation and shipping, would be the last sector to become fossil fuel free.

None of these numbers - even in the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario - utilise the maximum known technical potential of all the renewable resources. While the deployment rate compared to the technical potential for hydro power, for example, is relatively high at 36% in both the basic and the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario, for photovoltaics only 4.7% has been used in the basic version and 6.4% in the advanced scenario.