It’s not our problem, it’s our opportunity: There are no economic or technical barriers to moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. It just requires the political will to make the change, that political will requires public support.
Renewable energy currently represents 22.8% of the world’s current electricity (and this figure is set to rise), these renewable fuels will never run out. 77.2% of the world’s electricity system is currently based on fuels that will run out in less than two life times (oil, gas, uranium coal).
Will the transition to renewables be expensive? No. The transition to 100% renewable energy will not cost more, quite the opposite, it will save us money, building a stronger and healthier economy. The International Energy Agency’s latest estimates indicate that fossil fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $493 billion in 2014. Why are we investing in the past when we can invest in the future?
The investment costs for the switch to 100% renewables by 2050 is approximately US $1 trillion per year. As renewable energy technology provides drastic savings in operations due to the lack of requirement of fuels, the average savings are approximately US $1.07 trillion per year. If we embraced the transition globally today and invested heavily in renewable energy technology and stopped investing in fuel fuel projects, the investment over the period is met in full by fuel cost savings, with the cross- over happening between 2025 and 2030.
Is it technically possible to power the entire world using only renewable energy? Yes. World energy consumption is 16TWy per year. Solar can provide 23,000 TWy per year and this doesn’t include other sources like wind, biomass or hydro.
The only barrier is people, us.