Committing to Renewable Energy Will Pay Off

According to a joint report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), investing in a renewable energy as the source for electricity in our future will save 10 times the fuel costs of a “business as usual” scenario, saving US$180 billion annually and cutting CO2 emissions in half by 2030.

In the first global analysis of its kind, “Future Investment – A Sustainable Investment Plan for the Power Sector to Save the Climate,” demonstrates a powerful economic argument for a shift in global investments toward renewable energy (including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and bio energy), within the next 23 years, and away from fossil fuel, coal and nuclear power.

The report, which stresses the urgent need for decisive action now, gives the financial rationale for Greenpeace’s “Energy [R]evolution,” a blueprint for how to cut global CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050, while maintaining global economic growth.

“Future solutions would lie in the use of existing renewable energy technologies, greater efforts at energy efficiency and the dissemination of decentralized energy technologies and options,” said Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in the Foreward. “This particular publication provides much analysis and well-researched material to stimulate thinking on options that could be adopted in these areas.” 

The Energy [R]evolution needs an extra global annual investment of $22 billion in clean and renewable power plants on top of current expenditure. The fuel cost savings in the scenario, of up to $202 billion per year, means this will pay for itself ten times over. Meanwhile, converting the massive subsidies of $250 billion a year that coal and gas receive to clean, safe renewable energy will cover the costs of the energy [r]evolution and much more.

According to EREC the global market for wind turbines was worth some €18 billion in 2006, and the total renewable industry $50 billion. Under an energy revolution scenario, the renewable energy would be worth a massive annual market volume of $288 billion by 2030.

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