Many recent studies have offered optimistic reports about the scalability of renewable energy. The latest, from intergovernmental environmental organization IRENA, shows that the world could run entirely on renewables by 2050.
Although IRENA acknowledges that getting the world to 100 percent renewables by 2050 will not be easy, it is feasible. It’s also necessary if we want to keep the globe under the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming prescribed by the Paris Climate Agreement.
To achieve this full transition, IRENA recommends boosting the production of green hydrogen as well as increasing solar power installation 30 fold compared to 2018 levels. The plan also proposes boosting wind power production 14 fold and doubling hydropower production. Additionally, the IRENA plan relies on job creation in the renewable energy sector to maintain economic prosperity and the expansion of carbon capture technology to reverse some of the damage we have already done.
Christian Breyer, a professor of solar economics at LUT University in Finland, told Deutsche Welle that the outlined plan is feasible, but he believes that prioritizing the affordability of solar is also a key aspect.
Moving the world completely off fossil fuels by 2050 will be no easy task, but studies like this one demonstrate that this goal is achievable if we dedicate the time and resources needed to implement green solutions.