Renewable energy could power half the world by 2050, says new report

Renewables could satisfy half the world’s energy demand by 2050, says a new report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council. But — and there’s always a but — only if world governments encourage efficiency and crack down on fossil-fuel use. Well, it was a nice thought. The ever-optimistic “Energy Revolution” report is a road map of sorts, demonstrating how nations might encourage a huge jump in the use of wind, solar, hydro, tidal power, and biomass from their current 13.2 percent of world energy supply to 50 percent or more. If governments put a price on carbon, encourage efficiency, and strong-arm global warming, worldwide energy demand could even fall 6 percent by 2050, says the report. Compare and contrast to a 2006 study by the International Energy Agency, which suggested that use of renewables would rise just barely, to 13.7 percent, by 2030. Who’s been drinking out of our half-full glass?