Energy Blue Print
Scenarios for a future energy supply

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

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press release

Launch of the world’s first comprehensive global energy strategy for tackling climate change

Brussels, 25th January 2007: Renewable energy, combined with efficiencies from the ‘smart use’ of energy, can deliver half of the world’s energy needs by 2050, according to one of the most comprehensive plans for future sustainable energy provision, launched today. The report: ‘Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook’, produced by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace International, provides a practical blueprint for how to cut global CO2 emissions by almost 50% within the next 43 years, whilst providing a secure and affordable energy supply and, critically, maintaining steady worldwide economic development. Notably, the plan takes into account rapid economic growth areas such as China, India and Africa, and highlights the economic advantages of the energy revolution scenario. It concludes that renewable energies will represent the backbone of the world’s economy – not only in OECD countries, but also in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil. "Renewable Energy will deliver nearly 70% of global electricity supply and 65% of global heat supply by 2050."

“The Energy Revolution scenario comes as the world is crying out for a roadmap for tackling the dilemma of how to provide the power we all need, without fuelling climate change,” said Sven Teske energy expert of Greenpeace International. “We have shown that the world can have safe, robust renewable energy, that we can achieve the efficiencies needed and we can do all this whilst enjoying global economic growth and phasing out damaging and dangerous sources such as coal and nuclear, “ he continued. “Renewable energies are competitive, if governments phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels and introduce the `polluter-pays principle`. We urge politicians to ban those subsidies by 2010.”

However, the report also highlights the short time window for making the key decisions in energy infrastructure. Within the next few years governments, investment institutions and utility companies have to act. Within the next decade, many of the existing power plants in the OECD countries will come to the end of their technical lifetime and will need to be replaced, whilst developing countries such as China, India and Brazil are rapidly building up new energy infrastructure to service their growing economies.

Arthouros Zervos, president of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) said: “The global market for renewable energy can grow at a double digit rate till 2050, and achieve the size of today’s fossil fuel industry. With wind and solar markets worth US$ 38 billion and doubling in size every three years. We therefore call on decision makers around the world to make this vision a reality. The political choices of the coming years will determine the world’s environmental and economic situation for many decades to come. Renewable energy can and will have to play a leading role in the world’s energy future. There is no technical but a political barrier to make this shift.”

The report was developed in conjunction with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and more than 30 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world. It provides the first comprehensive global energy concept which gives a detailed analysis of how to restructure the global energy system based only on a detailed regional assessment for the potential of proven renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the utilisation of efficient, decentralised cogeneration. The Energy [R]evolution scenario is compared in the report to the effects on CO2 emissions (and, thereby climate change) of carrying on with a ‘business as usual’ scenario, that scenario being provided by the International Energy Association’s breakdown of 10 world regions, as used in the ongoing series of World Energy Outlook reports.