Replacing fossil fuels by 2050?

By the year 2050, global energy production could be replaced almost completely by renewable energy sources. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from different American and European universities.

Solar energy for power generation
Solar energy for power generation

Bringing the consumption of fossil fuels to a standstill by 2050 and covering 99% of energy consumption with renewables are highly ambitious goals. But according to a study by scientists at Stanford University and other American and European universities presented at the World Economic Forum WEF, it is possible. For this purpose, the researchers delineated the roadmaps for the transition to renewable energies by 2050 from a total of 139 countries. While they assume that the energy mix will differ from country to country, the researchers expect the majority (94.7%) of energy requirements to be covered by the energy sources of solar and wild technology already established today. The Solutions Project Study – part of a campaign for 100% renewable energy launched in 2015 by the actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo – also provides for the use of technologies still under initial development, such as tidal or wave power plants.

Radical changes necessary

If these goals are to be reached, radical changes will be needed: Only heat pumps would be used to heat buildings, only electric cars would drive on the roads and air travel would have to change over completely to hydrogen. Increased efficiency is a major argument in the case of car travel, because, according to the study, the switch to more efficient electric cars would make savings of 25% possible. The authors of the study also wish to achieve 100% renewable energy by breaking away from nuclear power. They state that energy-intensive uranium mining is not compatible with renewable energy goals.

According to the Solutions Project Study, these countries come closest to reaching the goal of 100% renewable energy: Tajikistan (76%), Paraguay (58.9%), Norway (35.8%), Sweden (20.7%), Costa Rica (19.1%) and Switzerland at 19%. Switzerland leads the WEF ranking of the World’s Best Energy Performers, followed by Norway and Sweden.

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