Carbon Tracker publishes report on global solar and wind energy potential

The non-profit London-based energy market research group Carbon Tracker has published a study on the global potential of renewable energies, especially wind and solar. The report, »The Sky’s the Limit«" focuses on the threshold at which renewables can economically compete with fossil fuels and the potential available for this in individual countries relative to their energy demand.
According to the think tank, at the current growth curve, wind and solar will have displaced fossil fuels from the electricity sector worldwide by the mid-2030s and from the entire energy supply by 2050. Land is not even close to being an obstacle: 450,000 square kilometers, 0.3 percent of the earth’s land area, is sufficient to meet global energy needs with photovoltaics alone, while 126,000 square kilometers are currently required for fossil fuel extraction in the U.S. alone.
Depending on the region, however, the potential varies extremely. Countries like Namibia could meet a thousand times their energy needs with renewables, while a country like South Korea could meet less than ten times. Germany is »a special case,« according to the report, because it is one of the largest industrialized countries and also the country with the world’s third-worst ratio of wind and solar potential to energy demand. However, even here, the potential is still twice as high as the demand, and even Belgium, which is even less favorably positioned in this respect, could be fully powered by wind and solar energy. Only Singapore would not be able to do so, according to the report. Worldwide, the potential is more than 100 times as high as the demand.
The report is available – after prior registration – for free download (see link below).

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