Thursday, October 1, 2009

Energy Revolution - A Sustainable Global Energy Outlook

The energy [r]evolution is an independently produced report that provides a practical blueprint for how to half global CO2 emissions, while allowing for an increase in energy consumption by 2050. By dividing the world into 10 regions, with a global summary, it explains how existing energy technologies can be applied in more efficient ways. It demonstrates how a ‘business as usual’ scenario, based on IEA’s World Energy Outlook projections, is not an option for environmental, economic and security of supply reasons.

The timing of this report is crucial. Within the coming years, decisions will be made to replace the generating capacity of the existing old power infrastructure in the OECD countries. Developing countries such as China, India and Brazil are rapidly constructing their energy infrastructure to service their economic growth.

Because renewable energy has no fuel costs, the total fuel cost savings in the Energy [R]evolution Scenario reach a total of $18.7 trillion, or $ 750 billion per year. A comparison between the extra fuel costs associated with the Reference Scenario and the extra investment costs of the Energy [R]evolution version shows that the average annual additional fuel costs are about five times higher than the additional investment requirements of the alternative scenario. In fact, the additional costs for coal fuel from today until the year 2030 are as high as $ 15.9 trillion: this would cover the entire investment in renewable and cogeneration capacity required to implement the Energy [R]evolution Scenario. These renewable energy sources will produce electricity without any further fuel costs beyond 2030, while the costs for coal and gas will continue to be a burden on national economies.

To make the energy [r]evolution real and to avoid dangerous climate change, Greenpeace and EREC demand for the energy sector that the following policies and actions are implemented:
  1. Phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
  2. Internalise the external (social and environmental) costs of energy production through “cap and trade” emissions trading.
  3. Mandate strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles.
  4. Establish legally binding targets for renewable energy and combined heat and power generation.
  5. Reform the electricity markets by guaranteeing priority access to the grid for renewable power generators.
  6. Provide defined and stable returns for investors, for example by feed-in tariff programmes.
  7. Implement better labelling and disclosure mechanisms to provide more environmental product information.
  8. Increase research and development budgets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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