Energy Blue Print
Archive 2009

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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chile energy [r]evolution scenario

energy [r]evolution: the blueprint for a safe climate In Energy [R]evolution, Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (Europe's largest renewable energy trade association) posed a simple but daring series of questions.

  • First, is it possible, using currently available technologies, to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide to the levels needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming?
  • Second, can we do it while also achieving strong economic growth?
  • Third, since the dangers of nuclear waste and proliferation pose similar existential threats to humanity as global warming itself, can we also phase out all nuclear power by 2050?
  • And, finally, can we do it here in the U.S.?

The answer, from some of the world?s top energy experts at the German Aerospace Center (Germany's counterpart to National Aeronautics and Space Administration), is a resounding yes on all counts. Every step of the way, we made conservative assumptions to ensure that the Energy [R]evolution Scenario would not just add up on paper but also work in the real world. We used numbers from the International Energy Agency (IEA) to project economic and population growth.

The Energy [R]evolution Scenario assumes that only currently available, offthe- shelf technology will be utilized between now and 2050, and unproven technologies like "carbon-free coal" were omitted. We assumed that no current energy infrastructure from power plants to home appliances will be retired prematurely. Even with these conservative assumptions, the Energy [R]evolution Scenario demonstrates how the U.S. can transition to a clean energy economy and stop global warming. By following the Energy [R]evolution blueprint, the U.S. can cut carbon dioxide emissions from domestic fossil fuel use by 83 percent by 2050, while still greater additional net emissions cuts can be achieved through changes in land use and agricultural practices.

Further, the report provides guidance for how the U.S. can achieve additional cuts by providing critical financing for the adoption of clean technologies in the developed world (see chapter 5). Finally, the U.S. can achieve still further reductions by funding efforts to stop tropical deforestation, which is responsible for 20 percent of worldwide global warming emissions.9 If properly implemented, these strategies together will allow the U.S. to achieve total cuts of at least 25 percent by 2020 and 80-95 percent by 2050.