The move towards net-zero carbon emission has led to calls for a re-think on oil and gas energy usage.
The key question though is whether renewable energy sources are plentiful and inexpensive to meet the world’s demands.
A new report from London-based think tank Carbon Tracker suggests that not only could clean energy fill the void left by ditching oil and gas but it could meet demand 100-times over.
It points to the fall in the cost of renewable energy as being the catalyst for the change and argues that if the will is there renewable energy could displace fossil fuels entirely by 2050.
The report states that global energy consumption is currently 65 Petawatt hours (PWh). It claims that solar power alone can already supply more than 5,800 PWh annually. Onshore and offshore wind power could add an additional 900 PWh every year
The report’s lead author Kingsmill Bond, who is an energy strategist at Carbon Tracker said “we are entering a new epoch, comparable to the industrial revolution. Energy will tumble in price and become available to millions more, particularly in low-income countries.”
“Geopolitics will be transformed as nations are freed from expensive imports of coal, oil and gas. Clean renewables will fight catastrophic climate change and free the planet from deadly pollution.”
Harry Benham, co-author of the report added
“The world does not need to exploit its entire renewable resource — just 1% is enough to replace all fossil fuel usage. Each year we are fuelling the climate crisis by burning three million years of fossilised sunshine in coal, oil and gas while we use just 0.01% of daily sunshine.”