Written by EREC
The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) just released RE-thinking 2050, a report outlining a pathway that would lead the European Union to 100-percent renewable energy by 2050. Factoring in everything from electricity, heating and cooling, as well as transport, the EREC report breaks down how different renewable technologies can contribute to a sustainable Europe.
The x-factor is that economic, political and public support remains strong throughout the first half of the century. If that dedication persists, the report says, millions of green jobs await. As laid out by EREC, by 2020 more than 2.7 million people would be employed in the renewable energy sector, culminating in more than 6 million jobs by 2050.
Furthermore, all energy-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by better than 90 percent in just 40 years. In the shorter term, an average annual reduction of 1,200 megatons would be achieved by 2020.
According to an executive summary of the report, bioenergy will take up the largest portion of its perceived RE mix, followed by a fairly even mix of geothermal, wind power, CSP, solar thermal and photovoltaics. Hydroelectric and ocean power would add a relatively small portion as well.
But the wind energy industry in Europe thinks it can do even better. The report caused a stir recently at the annual European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition in Warsaw, put on by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). There, wind industry leaders were especially excited, according to Renewable Energy World, asserting that wind power, which is already a solid contributor to Europe’s energy mix, could feasibly supply at least 50 percent of that renewable energy. Wind energy in the European Union has grown by 23 percent per year on average over the last decade.
For more information, and to download the full report, see the EREC website.
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