40% of World's Electricity Will Come From Wind and Solar Power by 2050, With Proper Support

wind turbine photo

photo: Chuck Coker via flickr

TreeHugger has covered all sorts of plans to transform the US's energy mix towards far greater amounts of renewable energy over the coming years, Al Gore's generational challenge to repower America being perhaps the most prominent. Under than plan (really more a visionary proposal) the US would generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources within the next 10 years. A more sober projection was made at the Copenhagen Climate Congress by Professor Peter Lund of the Helsinki University of Technology:25% From Wind Power, 15% From Solar Power
In his presentation "Global market penetration of new renewable energy technologies: assessing future growth rates and energy impacts", Lund said with the proper financial and political support, by 2050 renewable energy could supply 40% of the world's electricity supply. Of that 15% would be from solar power and 25% from wind power (20% of that from offshore wind farms).

To get there though, "by 2030...renewables need to be the mainstream technologies. About 80% of [new] electricity has to come from new renewables."

However, with proper support in the shorter term, renewable energy technology could be marginalized and amount to as little as 15% of the global electricity supply.

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