Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy

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The state-of-the-art scientific modelling of the “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power, Heat, Transport and Desalination Sectors” study simulates a transition to 100% renewable energy of the entire world, structured in nine major regions and 145 sub-regions on an hourly resolution of 5-year time periods from 2015 until 2050. The modelling computes the cost-optimal mix of technologies, based on locally available renewable energy sources.

According to the report, the transition to a global energy system based on 100% renewables can be achieved before 2050 if a strong policy framework is implemented.

Some key findings of the study:

  • The transition to 100% renewable energy requires comprehensive electrification in all energy sectors. The total electricity generation will be four to five times higher than electricity generation in 2015. Accordingly, electricity consumption in 2050 will account for more than 90% of the primary energy consumption. At the same time, consumption of fossil and nuclear energy resources in all sectors will cease completely.
  • The global primary energy generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of the following mix of energy sources: solar energy (69%), wind power (18%), hydropower (3%), bioenergy (6%) and geothermal energy (2%).
  • By 2050, wind and solar power will account for 96% of the total power supply of renewable energy sources. Renewable energies are produced virtually exclusively from decentralised local and regional generation.
  • 100% renewables are more cost-effective: The energy costs for a fully sustainable energy system will decrease from € 54/MWh in 2015 to € 53/MWh in 2050.
  • The transition in all sectors will reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector continuously from roughly 30 GtCO2-eq. in 2015 to zero by 2050.
  • A 100%-renewable electricity system will employ 35 million people worldwide. The roughly 9 million jobs in the worldwide coal mining sector from 2015 will be phased out completely by 2050. They will be overcompensated by the over 15 million new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

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