IPCC : Renewables could answer 77% of our needs 2


This week was published another new landmark report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This one is focusing on renewable energies as no less than 164 scenario where studied.

You may have read it, one of them notes that energy sources like solar, wind and biomass could answer up to 77 % of our needs by the middle of this century. This is not surprising as the WWF even believes they could answer ALL of them.

Much has been said about this on countless websites and newspapers such as the New York Times but I would like to point out a few things.

First of all, not all renewables are equal. Some are truly great solutions, however some are absolutely not.  As an example, we have seen many times here that current biofuels are NOT a sustainable solution as they drive food prices up (not as if the drought was enough…) and thus people into famine.

Second, if some scenarios goes as far as 77 percent, this doesn’t mean ALL of them say so. As it is written in the summary for policymakers :

More than half of the scenarios show a contribution from RE in excess of a 17% share of primary energy supply in 2030 rising to more than 27% in 2050.

Third, without energy efficiency, nothing of this can be done. Indeed, energy consumption is still growing and fossil fuels still account for the majority of this increase (see my previous note on the matter)


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2 thoughts on “IPCC : Renewables could answer 77% of our needs

  • nadine sellers

    The comment section mimics a monologue in space..however, as a participant in the green resurgence, i find it imperative to shine my small solar light again..
    renewables of choice are only the ones available and sustainable in any given area: solar-wind-hydro-geothermal wherever easily accessible and manageable –then where reeds or agricultural leftovers are obtainable–use these biomass freebies to fuel the grid..or heat buildings…
    the key is regionalism; whatever is there, is it.. small local coops can manage de-centralized needs at this level..
    one last point–Germany has been at the gates of green for long enough to show us the way–now, the top polluters must press forward on developing clean energy, by land and by sea, one town at a time..the rest of the world will follow <<before mid century!

  • Edouard Post author

    I answered your previous comments Nadine (by the way, here is the RSS feeds of comments… sorry for being late.)

    Germany has been at the gates of green for decades now, yet :

    1. They have per capita emissions higher than France (around 9/10 tons compared to 6 tons for France)
    2. Their electricity emits six times more CO2 than the French one. (Coal versus nuclear…)

    Not that I don’t believe in renewables, it’s just that to me, they won’t be enough before a loooong time. (if they ever succeed…)

    I agree however that we have to produce more electricity and energy locally.

    I think each and every single house / building should have some solar thermal and PV at some point.

    Thanks for your continuous support ! 🙂