Renewable energy sources could meet nearly 80% of the world's energy needs by 2050, according to a report published this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The study, involving more than 120 scientists, economists, and tech experts, provides a comprehensive and long overdue assessment of our planet's energy future.
Of course, achieving those numbers will require a whole lot of political will and money -- the IPCC estimates that such a shift could cost up to $15 trillion over the next couple of decades. It's doable, but it's going to be very, very challenging.
As Andrew Revkin pointed out on Dot Earth:
The document doesn't take readers much beyond what is already well established: that without sustained and focused climate and energy policies by governments around the world, the potential of renewable energy technologies to compete with fossil fuels remains deeply limited.
Photo: Abengoa Solar's PS20 concentrated solar plant near Seville Spain. (Abengoa Solar)