IRENA: Renewables can account for up to two-thirds of total energy use, and 85% of power generation by 2050

Published onApril 27, 2018

In the latest edition of its long-term renewable energy outlook, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) calls for at least six-fold deployment of renewables by 2050, compared to the levels set out in current plans. Investment in low-carbon technologies needs to increase by around 30% to $120 trillion to enable the energy transition and avoid escalating stranded assets, the report finds.

Noting that current emissions trends are not on track to keep the temperature rise to well below two degrees celsius, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that immediate action is crucial, so that the world does not exhaust its energy-related “carbon budget” in less than 20 years, thus leaving enough room for fossil fuels to dominate the global energy mix. Addressing the 4. Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said that for decarbonization of global energy to happen, renewables must account for at least two-thirds of total energy by 2050.

According to IRENA’s latest report Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050 launched on the occasion, cumulative emissions must at least be reduced by a further 470 gigatons by 2050 compared to current and planned policies (business-as-usual). This means that renewables need to be scaled up at least six times faster for the world to start to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement in a cost effective way, bringing economic, social and ecological benefits at national and global level.