Sunday, January 28, 2007

Energy Revolution Report: How to cut Global Energy CO2 Emissions by 2050

Just how on earth is this planet going to substantially reduce it’s carbon emissions? For sure, it will require radical solutions to be implemented, and a groundbreaking study released this week provides the very roadmap we so desperately need. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of how the global energy system can be restructured based on a detailed assessment for the potential of proven renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the utilisation of efficient, decentralised cogeneration. Such a route would deliver nearly 70% of global electricity supply and 65% of global heat supply by 2050.

The report, ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook', 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. Commissioned by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace International, it demonstrates how we can halve global CO2 emissions by 2050, whilst allowing for increased energy consumption and economic growth. It concludes that renewable energies must represent the backbone of the world’s economy – and that includes developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

Structural change is at the core of the report. Decentralised technologies and energy systems connected to local distribution networks and large scale renewable energy supplies, such as large offshore wind farms and Concentrating Solar Power plants will be key components. This will achieve higher fuel efficiencies and reduce distribution losses.

In stark contrast, following a "business as usual" scenario would see demand for energy double by 2050, the authors warn.

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.

This is a rallying call for governments to phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels by 2010 and introduce the `polluter-pays principle`. The market as it currently exists is distorted by the fact that it is still virtually free for fossil and nuclear fuel industry to pollute. Current conventional energy subsidies (to the tune of $250-300 billion worldwide) artificially reduce the price of power, keep renewable energy out of the market place and prop up non-competitive technologies and fuels. Thus, at present new renewable energy generators have to compete with old nuclear and fossil fuelled power stations which produce electricity at marginal costs.

Without political support renewable energy remains at a disadvantage, marginalised by the distortions in the world’s electricity markets created by decades of massive financial, political and structural support to conventional technologies. Developing renewables will therefore require strong political and economic efforts, especially through laws that guarantee stable ‘feed-in’ tariffs over a period of up to 20 years.

Energy Revolution presents demands that are needed in the energy sector to encourage a shift to renewable sources. The main ones are:
• Phase out all subsidies for fossil and nuclear energy and internalise external costs of damage to health and the environment
• Establish legally binding targets for implementation of renewable energy
• Provide defined and stable returns for investors
• Guarantee priority access to the grid for renewable power generators
• Implement strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles

This a report with far reaching aims which, it is hoped, will result in far reaching consequences – consequences that would contribute to sustainable economic growth, high quality jobs, technology development, global competitiveness and industrial and research leadership. And of course, a whopping 50% reduction in carbon emissions. All we need do now is start working out how to tackle the remaining 30%

Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook


Anonymous said...


In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products should be reduced or eliminated)

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325
Jan. 29, 2007

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 2

4 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”)

Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on "performance based" (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product - that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.

Installing renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.

Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.

Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA 91325

Gerry Wolff said...

Yes, this is an excellent report showing how we can decarbonise the world's economy.

There summaries and links to other reports on the same theme (and also the costs of *not* taking action) at .

And there is more information about concentrating solar power at and at .

Anonymous said...

In my opinion in reality, solar power may not provide enough energy for ALL of our energy needs. But it could provide be a large percentage energy source. Coupled with nuclear power, wind power and water power, we could stop global warming. And getting solar power requires more studies, solar power has big potential, because Solar power is essentially infinite, so it never runs out, unlike fossil fuels. The amount of solar energy intercepted by the Earth every minute is greater than the amount of energy the world uses in fossil fuels each year.

Polly Higgins said...

Hi Solarpower - as you rightly state, solar power is essentially an infinite energy resource. Each year, each square kilometer of hot desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil. Globally, this adds up to nearly 1000 times the current energy consumption of the world.

An area of hot desert of 110 km × 110 km covered with CSP plants would meet all of Europe’s electricity needs. Less than 1% of the world's hot deserts could in principle provide the world's entire electricity needs (see: TRANS-CSP report at

So, on your very own reasoning, there is no reason why solar power (alongside other clean renewable technologies) cannot provide enough energy for our needs and that of burgeoning future generations - without the need to resort to dirty, dangerous, unsustainable and finite resources such as nuclear.

Solar Power Business said...

Good post.......