Renewables can help to phase out global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2060 with a positive net economic impact, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IRENA/IEA report – ‘Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition’ – said an additional $29 trillion would be needed to 2050 to decarbonise the energy sector, but this amounts to only 0.4% of global GDP.
According to IEA and IRENA analysis, such as investment would boost global GDP by 0.8% by 2050 and create enough jobs in the renewables sector to offset losses in fossil fuel industries.
Some 90% of energy CO2 emission reduction can be achieved through expanding renewable energy deployment and improving energy efficiency, IRENA and IEA said.
Renewable energy currently accounts for 24% of global power generation and 16% of primary energy supply.
To achieve decarbonisation, the report said that, by 2050, renewables should be 80% of power generation and 65% of total primary energy supply.
The report also called for policy efforts to create an enabling framework and re-design of energy markets.
“Stronger price signals and carbon pricing can help provide a level playing field when complemented by other measures, and the report emphasises the importance of considering needs of those without energy access,” IRENA and IEA said.