Renewables could make up 77% of globe’s energy supply by 2050, according to IPCC report

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

By 2050, nearly 80% of the world’s energy could be supplied by renewables, according to a new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The paper, which has taken more than 120 researchers over three years to produce, also claims that an investment of anywhere between US$2,850 and US$12,280 billion could be required to fund this green energy boom over the next 20 years.

Should these figures prove accurate, it would be a boon to an industry that was estimated to contribute just 13% to the global energy supply three years ago. Naturally, this growing reliance on solar, bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, tidal and wind will also benefit the environment by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 220 to 560 gigatonnes over the next 40 years.

The 1,000-page report has been approved by governments in 194 nations and analyses more than 164 scenarios on the long-term viability of renewables replacing fossil fuels. Four of these scenarios were investigated in detail and they showed that the renewables sector could account for as much as 77%, or as little as 15%, of global energy output in 2050. These wildly disparate numbers were mirrored in findings on the decadal investment, with figures ranging from US$1,360 – 5,100 billion for the period up until 2020 and US$1,490 – 7,180 billion for 2021 to 2030.

The report also revealed that solar was one of the energy sources with the most potential. At present, the sector contributes only a fraction of a percent of the world’s energy supply, but in some of the IPCC’s more optimistic forecasts, this number could rise to as much as 33% by 2050.

While the majority of scenarios saw solar account for around 10% of total energy production, the scope for growth remains considerable. Nevertheless, actual deployment is still dependent on continued innovation, cost reductions and supportive legislation.

The IPPC paper also stipulates that the aforementioned growth is heavily reliant on considerable governmental support. “The potential role of renewable energy technologies in meeting the needs of the poor and in powering the sustainable growth of developing and developed economies can trigger sharply polarised views,” said Youba Sokona, co-chair of the IPCC working group that unveiled the report in Abu Dhabi. “This IPCC report has brought some much-needed clarity to this debate in order to inform governments on the options and decisions that will needed if the world is to collectively realise a low carbon, far more resource efficient and equitable development path.”

1 December 2021
Join this virtual conference on 1-2 December 2021 for expert presentations covering PV Module Technology, Supply & Site Optimisation for Utility-Scale. Delegates can access streamed presentations, session recordings and chat/messaging tools to connect with fellow delegates and speakers. Speakers include leading developers, manufacturers, testing and research institutes, including: NREL, Silicon Ranch, Sonnedix, Heliene, Powertis, LONGi Solar, JinkoSolar, PVEL, Risen Energy, Seraphim, STS, Trina Solar, Eternalsun Spire, QEERI, Fraunhofer, Estuary Capital Partners and VDE
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.

Read Next

November 26, 2021
Renewables developer and asset owner Grasshopper Energy has signed an agreement that could support the development of up to 1GW of solar in Romania by 2030.
November 26, 2021
Portugal has launched its latest solar auction that is set to allocate 262MW of floating PV to be installed at seven dams across the country.
November 26, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved a €2.27 billion (US$2.56 billion) Greek scheme to support 4.2GW of installed renewables capacity after assessing it in the context of EU state aid rules
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Average market prices for 182mm solar wafers fell by nearly 7% this week, falling to levels not seen in almost two months, however other material and component costs have remained high.
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Faced with the threat of curtailment as more renewables enter the grid, utility-scale solar developers are heightening their focus on hybrid PV-storage projects to take advantage of demand for flexibility services and falling battery costs.
November 25, 2021
Assurance and risk management provider DNV is acquiring cyber security firm Applied Risk as it looks to build a security practice focused on defending industrial assets against emergent cyber threats.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal