Stimulating investments in sector coupling and innovation: Energy Watch Group proposes new law for reliable and adequate renewable energy systems

Berlin (May 14, 2020) – On the occasion of this year’s 20th anniversary of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the Berlin-based Think-and-Do Tank Energy Watch Group (EWG) presents a legislative proposal to stimulate the system integration of renewable energy. The underlying purpose of the policy proposal is to allow renewable energy sources to finally assume responsibility for the system security of the power supply – i.e. to cover the required energy demand at every hour of the year. With a so-called combined power plant tariff, the instrument intends to stimulate investments for full demand coverage by 100% renewable energy. Based on own techno-economic cost estimates and a legal examination of EU regulations, the EWG proposes a fixed-feed-in-tariff of 8 cents/kWh, supported by a sliding market premium.

While renewables keep setting records in terms of their shares of national electricity mixes – Germany has recently hit the 50% mark –, a full transformation to an entirely renewable-based energy system is not yet widely regarded to be a tangible reality. One of the main reasons is the prevailing mistrust of the ability of renewables to provide year-round supply. Many scientific studies have already shown that a complete conversion to renewables is not only critical for reasons of climate protection, but also that it is technologically feasible (in combination with storage technologies and digital control technology) at any hour of the year and at cost-effective prices. What is still missing, however, is a legal basis to enable the market penetration of reliable and adequate 100% renewable energy systems.

“The newly proposed Sector Coupling and Innovation Act for Renewable Energy is intended to become a major impetus to overcome the current challenges of the coronavirus recession and the climate crisis. More than ever, it is necessary to find solutions that both stimulate the economy and protect our climate,” said Hans-Josef Fell, who, as President of the EWG and author of the draft law EEG 2000, was responsible for drafting the new legislative initiative.

Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association, emphasized: “Renewable energy ultimately can, must and will assume responsibility for system security. Today, wind and solar power have become the cheapest forms of energy. As a next step, the investments in the optimised integration of all renewable energy sources must be massively increased. The EWG’s new policy proposal shows how this can be achieved effectively and deserves wide attention.”

The law would create a market for the very large number of start-ups and established companies that are in the starting blocks with innovative system developments for storage, digital controls, green power generation and sector coupling, but do not yet have a viable market environment to generate large-scale privately financed investments.

“The advantages of low, decentralised and transparent energy production costs can now be shared with those of climate protection and security of supply, especially since integration comes also from the regional level in support of the transmission network. Further innovations and growth markets can certainly develop if technologies such as batteries, hydrogen, heat pumps and heat storage in combination with solar and wind energy are dynamically developed towards decentral system responsibility.”, states Thure Traber, Chief Research Officer at the EWG and author of the legislative proposal.

A legal examination of the proposal has shown the compatibility with EU regulations. A distinction is made between a fixed feed-in tariff per kWh fed into the grid for small plants and a floating market premium for larger plants that participate in electricity competition via direct marketing. Similar options for policy implementation are expected at international level. With political majorities in national parliaments, the proposal can help to realise effective climate protection and, after the end of the coronavirus pandemic, a rapid recovery of the economy together with the phasing-out of fossil and nuclear energy in favour of clean renewable energy sources.

The full policy paper is available here.

Media contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 30 609898815 / hornung@energywatchgroup.org

About Energy Watch Group  

Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. The mission of the organisation is to provide energy policy with objective information. For more information, please visit www.energywatchgroup.org.
Contact: office@energywatchgroup.org, +49 30 609898815

Conversion from coal and oil to natural gas increases greenhouse effect of energy consumption by around 40%

Berlin (September 17th, 2019) – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is repeatedly playing down the climate impact of natural gas, thus laying the foundation for national governments to continue to heavily subsidise fossil fuels. Against this background, the Energy Watch Group presented the latest scientific findings on the future suitability of natural gas in a new study released on Monday. The key finding debunks the widespread picture of natural gas as a climate-friendly bridge technology: The switch from coal-fired power generation and oil-fired heating to natural gas increases the greenhouse effect of energy supply by around 40% due to alarming methane emissions. Thus, contrary to what is widely communicated to the public, natural gas does not contribute to climate protection, but instead causes an additional acceleration of climate change.

The study of the independent Berlin Think-and-Do-Tank calculates for the first time the climate impact of a fossil-fossil substitution by natural gas based on the latest research on methane and carbon dioxide emissions of the entire supply chain. The climate impact was evaluated with regard to the 20-year horizon relevant for potential climate tipping points. The study comes to the conclusion that possible CO2savings from natural gas are far outweighed by its high methane emissions. A switch from coal and crude oil in the electricity, heat and transport sectors to natural gas even significantly exceeds the highly negative climate impact of coal and crude oil.

„The IEA, which many governments regard as a reference for their energy policy decisions, deceives us with outdated figures and problematic assumptions about the actual climate impact of natural gas – with devastating consequences for our climate and the economy.”, explained Dr. Thure Traber, co-author and leading scientist of the EWG. „The economic risks of natural gas are significant: If the climate targets are to be achieved on national and international levels, then it is simply impossible for investments in natural gas to pay for themselves. What will remain are stranded investments in the billions.”

“The study confirms that the production of highly climate-damaging natural gas will further exacerbate climate change,” added Hans-Josef Fell. The former member of the German Parliament and President of the Energy Watch Group, who was involved in the study as co-author, calls for a rethink in the current political debate about the future of the energy sector. “Existing and new subsidies for natural gas are incompatible with the Paris climate protection targets. Instead, we urgently need more investments in renewable energies, because only these have an immediate and lasting positive effect on the climate.”

What exactly politics has to do in order to establish a sustainable energy system is clear to the authors of the study: an immediate abolition of all subsidies for fossil fuels and a comprehensive introduction of emission-free, renewable technologies; the existing natural gas infrastructure can alternatively be used for climate-friendly biogas and green gases such as hydrogen from green electricity. Since a worldwide transition of the energy system to 100% renewable energies would save 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, this measure must be at the centre of all climate protection efforts. The study points out that fossil energies have no place in the future energy system and calls upon politicians to correct the false image of natural gas as a climate-friendly bridge technology.

The study is freely available here.

Press Contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 30 609898815 / hornung(a)energywatchgroup.org

 

About the Energy Watch Group 

Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. The mission of the organization is to provide energy policy with objective information.

New scientific study models full energy transition across power, heat, and transport sectors

Katowice, Poland (December 11, 2018) – As climate discussions are underway among global leaders at COP24, the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference, a new report released Tuesday showcases the feasibility of a European energy transition to 100% renewable sources. The new scientific study shows that the transition to 100% renewable energy will be economically competitive with today’s conventional fossil fuel and nuclear energy system, and lead greenhouse gas emissions to zero before 2050. The study’s financial case for an energy transition becomes even stronger when taking into account significant projected job growth and the indirect economic benefits for health, security, and the environment, that were not factored into the study.

Undertaken by LUT University and Energy Watch Group, the first-of-its-kind scientific modeling study has simulated a full energy transition in Europe across the power, heat, transport, and desalination sectors by 2050. The study’s publication came after approximately four and a half years of data collection, and technical and financial modeling under the research and analysis of 14 scientists.

“This report confirms that a transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors is possible and not more expensive than today’s energy system,” said Hans-Josef Fell, former German parliamentarian and president of Energy Watch Group, during its COP24 press conference, “It demonstrates that Europe can switch to a zero-emission energy system. Therefore, European leaders can and should do much more for climate protection than what is currently on the table.”

 Some of the study’s key findings:

  • The transition will require mass electrification across all energy sectors. Total power generation will exceed four to five times that of 2015, with electricity constituting for more than 85% of primary energy demand in 2050. Simultaneously, fossil fuels and nuclear are phased out completely across all sectors.
  • Electricity generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of the following mix of power sources: solar PV (62%), wind (32%), hydropower (4%), bioenergy (2%) and geothermal energy (<1%).
  • Wind and solar make up 94% of total electricity supply by 2050, and approximately 85% of the renewable energy supply will come from decentralized local and regional generation.
  • 100% renewable energy is not more expensive: The levelised cost of energy for a fully sustainable energy system in Europe remains stable, ranging from 50-60 €/MWh through the transition.
  • Europe’s annual greenhouse gas emissions decline steadily through the transition, from approximately 4200 MtCO2 in 2015 to zero by 2050 across all sectors.
  • A 100% renewable power system will employ 3 to 3.5 million people. The approximate 800,000 jobs in the European coal industry of 2015 will be zeroed out by 2050, and will be overcompensated by more than 1.5-million new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“The results of the study showcase that the current goals set forth under the Paris Agreement can and should be accelerated,” said Dr. Christian Breyer, professor for solar economy at Finland’s LUT University, “The transition to 100% clean, renewable energy is very realistic, right now, with the technology we have available today.”

The study concludes with policy recommendations to promote a swift uptake of renewable energy and zero-emission technology adoption. Primary measures promoted in the report include support of sector coupling, private investments, tax benefits, legal privileges, with a simultaneous phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsides. By implementing strong political frameworks, the report shows that a transition to 100% renewable energy can be realised even earlier than 2050.

Click here for key findings

The full study is available here.

A presentation summarising the study results is available here.

A detailed presentation on the study results is available here.

Supplementary data of the study is available here.

Press release also available in German, French, Spanish and Russian.

Media Contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 (30) 609 898 810 / hornung(at)energywatchgroup.org

 

About the Study

Simulation of the energy transition in Europe is part of the study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy”, co-funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and the Stiftung Mercator. State-of-the-art modeling, developed by LUT University, computes a cost-optimal mix of technologies based on locally available renewable energy sources for the world structured in 145 regions and determines a most cost-effective energy transition pathway for energy supply on an hourly resolution for an entire reference year. The global energy transition scenario is carried out in 5-year time periods from 2015 until 2050. The results are aggregated into nine major regions of the world: Europe, Eurasia, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, SAARC, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and South America.

About Energy Watch Group

Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. The mission of the organization is to provide energy policy with objective information.

About LUT University

LUT University has pioneered as a science university combining technology and business since 1969. It has been recognised in international rankings as one of the world’s top universities.Clean energy and water, a circular economy and sustainable business are pivotal questions for humankind. LUT University applies its expertise in technology and business to seek solutions to these questions. LUT University strongly promotes entrepreneurship stemming from its scientific research. An example of this is the business accelerator Green Campus Open, which supports new spin-off companies that are based on LUT’s research. LUT’s international science community consists of 6500 students and experts. www.lut.fi/web/en/

Hong Kong (October 4, 2018) – Hans-Josef Fell, President of the Energy Watch Group (EWG) and former member of the German Parliament for the Alliance 90/the Greens was awarded the LUI Che Woo Prize, one of the most renowned awards worldwide, for his lifetime achievements.

The top-class international jury acknowledged the significance of the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and Hans-Josef Fell’s commitment as a politician and pioneer to the worldwide development of renewable energies. His work contributed greatly to climate protection as well as the technological and entrepreneurial development of renewable energy sources.

The prize of HK$20 million (around $2.56 million) aims to recognize and honor individuals or organizations all over the world with outstanding achievements and contributions in three categories: “sustainable development of the world”, “betterment of the welfare of mankind” and “promotion of positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy”.

„The three laureates this year share the same vision with the LUI Che Woo Prize. They not only believe in making a better world, but also overcome difficulties with courage, wisdom, and selflessness. They are role models in their fields and have greatly contributed to the world; inspiring more people to participate and jointly create our future, “ Dr. Lui Che Woo, founder and chairman of the LUI Che Woo prize council, said at the award ceremony on October 3, in Hong Kong.

In his speech Hand-Josef Fell highlighted that humanity has the chance to stop global warming with the help of 100% clean renewable energy and clean carbon-reducing agriculture. Together with the Energy Watch Group and with a strong support of the LUI Che Woo Prize he plans to continue working towards reaching this goal.

In addition to his speech at the award ceremony, with nearly one thousand invited guests and representatives of the government in Beijing, Hans-Josef Fell held various talks including one with Hong Kong’s minister of the environment. In April 2018, Hong Kong for the first time introduced a feed-in rate for solar and wind power, taking an initial step towards renewable energies. Today renewable energy covers only 1% of Hong Kong’s energy demand.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor personally handed the prize to Hans-Josef Fell. She encouraged him to discuss and campaign for strong policies towards climate protection, clean air and renewables energies for Hong Kong, when talking to environment minister Wong Kam-sing.

The prize for promotion of positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy was given to the Indian Pratham foundation. As one of the largest NGOs in the country, working with 10.000 teachers and educators, Pratham focuses on high-quality, low-cost interventions to address gaps in the education system. Pratham directly helps one million children attain basic literacy and numeracy annually.

The 2018 Welfare Betterment Prize was awarded to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO sets worldwide standards and provides the framework for international cooperation leading to better monitoring, forecasting and communication of meteorological hazards on a global scale. Today, due to the work of WMO millions of people can be warned and safeguarded from extreme weather events.

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. The mission of the organization is to provide energy policy with objective information. For more information, please visit www.energywatchgroup.org.

About the LUI Che Woo Prize

Founded by Dr. LUI Che Woo in 2015, the “LUI Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilization” is an annual, first of its kind, international cross-sector award for advancing world civilization and inspiring people to build a more harmonious world. It aims to recognize and honor individuals or organizations all over the world for outstanding contributions and encourages the continuation of that work in three objectives: sustainable development of the world, betterment of the welfare of mankind and promotion of positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy. Each Prize is awarded to a single recipient (i.e. no sharing of a Prize), who can either be an individual or an organization. For more information, please visit: www.luiprize.org.

Fell to receive LUI Che Woo Prize Award for Sustainability

Berlin (August 24, 2018) – One of the most prestigious awards in the world, the LUI Che Woo Prize, was announced today to be awarded to Hans-Josef Fell, president of the Energy Watch Group and former German parliamentarian for the Green Party, in the category of sustainability. The LUI Che Woo Prize is awarded annually to three international laureates in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to overcome the most significant issues in the world.

“The goal of social achievement is to give back to society from which one has benefited and to promote a harmonious society and enhance world civilization,” said Dr. Lui Che Woo, founder and chairman of the Board of Governor cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize. “This is my heartfelt wish.”

“Hans-Josef Fell has dedicated his life’s work to sustainable development and is internationally recognized as a founding figure of the global renewable energy movement. While the success of such a movement takes the collective effort of many people, it takes a trailblazer with an incredible amount of perseverance and dedication to turn the vision into a reality,” the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize explained.

Fell initiated Germany’s world-renowned feed-in-tariff program, co-authoring the country’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Together with Hermann Scheer of the Social Democratic Party, coalition partner at the time, Fell successfully promoted the political implementation of the Renewable Energy Sources Act in Germany. The EEG has since been replicated over 100 times around the globe. For the past two decades, Fell has been advising governments and parliaments globally and sharing his expertise all over the world on ways to accelerate a global clean energy transition.

As the president of the Energy Watch Group, Fell actively promotes a transition to 100 percent renewable energy worldwide. An international network of scientists and parliamentarians, the Energy Watch Group provides advice on legal frameworks for sustainable energy, analyzes global energy developments and commissions independent studies on energy and clean tech, many of which have received wide media, political, and scientific recognition around the world.

“It is my highest honor to receive the virtuous LUI Che Woo Prize award,” said Fell, “We are amidst one of the greatest challenges that humanity has faced, and this award serves as a testament to my service which will hopefully inspire future leaders of the world to nurture civilization.”

Fell will dedicate most of the award’s money to strengthening his continued work towards a sustainable and peaceful world. The money will be used for extensive scientific research and policy proposals to advise governments and parliaments on legal frameworks to turn a fossil and nuclear-based economy into a sustainable one, based on renewable energy and zero-emission technologies. “The Energy Watch Group is known for its great scientific and public policy work, but we have been working on a very small budget. The award will enable our growth and an even greater impact on the global transition towards 100 percent renewable energy supply and effective climate protection. Hopefully, this will also attract other individuals and organizations to support the work we have been doing so far,” Fell added.

The LUI Che Woo Prize honors individuals and organizations around the world for their selfless contributions to the continuation of work focused on three objectives: sustainable development of the world, betterment of the welfare of mankind, and the promotion of positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy. A relatively new award, the Prize for World Civilization is unique to other awards by extending beyond the academic and scientific community, saluting the work of those dedicated to building a better world.

Contact for the media: Doreen Rietentiet, rietentiet(a)energywatchgroup.org

 

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. The mission of the organization is to provide energy policy with objective information. For more information, please visit www.energywatchgroup.org.

About the LUI Che Woo Prize

Founded by Dr. LUI Che Woo in 2015, the “LUI Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilization” is an annual, first of its kind, international cross-sector award for advancing world civilization and inspiring people to build a more harmonious world. It aims to recognize and honor individuals or organizations all over the world for outstanding contributions and encourages the continuation of that work in three objectives: sustainable development of the world, betterment of the welfare of mankind and promotion of positive life attitude and enhancement of positive energy. Each Prize is awarded to a single recipient (i.e. no sharing of a Prize), who can either be an individual or an organization. For more information, please visit: www.luiprize.org.

March 20, 2018, Berlin – During his state visit to India, France’s President Macron agreed with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to sell six French EPR reactors for the largest nuclear power plant planned in Jaitapur. Regardless of the fact that India has not yet signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The plutonium from the reactors could be completely used for the construction of nuclear weapons without international control. In terms of energy, too, all EPR construction projects in recent years are highly problematic.

The European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), proclaimed in the 1990s as a new impetus for the renaissance the European nuclear industry, proved to be a financial disaster, fulfilling none of the industry promises, a new brief by the Energy Watch Group shows.

The EPR construction sites in Flamanville (France), Olkiluoto (Finland) and Hinkley Point C (UK) are exemplary of the failed nuclear industry with no single EPR having been completed to date. All existing EPR projects are characterized by years of commissioning delays, grave technical and security problems and exploding construction costs of up to tens of billions Euros.

The further construction of these reactors was secured only by means of multi-billion Euro state rescue packages. As a result, nuclear companies, especially the French AREVA and EDF, are increasingly under pressure and risk of bankruptcy as it was in the case of the US-Japanese company Westinghouse.

“The promises of “inherently safe” EPR reactors did not materialize and turned into a heavy burden to European taxpayers. It is time to immediately end all new nuclear energy projects and phase-out the existing ones, ” President of the Energy Watch Group Hans-Josef Fell and co-author of the brief said. “Renewable energy sources are the safest and financially better solution today. There is no longer any single reason to rely on or invest in nuclear energy.”

“The security threats of the aging European nuclear reactor fleet are constantly increasing. The new generation of EPR reactors even worsens security and financial risks for the population. Old and new flaws are closely interwoven, as the nuclear triangle Fessenheim-Flamanville-Hinkley Point clearly shows”, Eva Stegen, independent energy consultant, working for the electricity provider EWS Schönau, and co-author of the brief said.

The Energy Watch Group brief “The disaster of the European nuclear industry” documents the following disastrous developments in the EPR construction sites and nuclear as a whole in the European Union:

  • As of today, none of the EPR construction projects in the EU was completed. The EPR reactor in Hinkley Point C (the UK), which was due to provide first electricity by Christmas 2017, was postponed until 2027. The EPR project in Flamanville (France), which was due in 2012, was postponed until 2020. The Olkiluoto site in Finland is over 12 years behind its initial schedule.
  • All EPR projects are characterized by massive cost overruns. The original cost estimates of 3 billion Euros have now more than tripled to about 10.5 billion Euros at Flamanville and 8.5 billion Euros at Olkiluoto.
  • As of today, EDF has accumulated a debt of 61 billion Euros and AREVA 10 billion Euros in debt. The French state had to grant AREVA 4.5 billion Euros as state aid, EDF could only be rescued by a 3 billion Euros capital increase.
  • By February 2013 the costs of nuclear clean up of the Sellafield site had amounted to nearly £ 70 billion. Every year about £1.6 billion are added on top.
  • An unpublished British government study has shown that wind and solar power would generate electricity at half the cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
  • The driving force behind the UK government’s affinity to nuclear technology is the cross-subsidization of the military nuclear program. A study by University of Sussex has proved in detail, what is openly communicated by the military, but vehemently denied by the energy sector: the maintenance of the civilian nuclear program is a financial relieve for the defence budget
  • The EPRs are far from being “inherently safe” as the industry claimed. Currently the technical problems of the EPR projects seem unresolvable. The serious flaws in the bottom and lid of the EPR reactor pressure vessel in Flamanville cannot guarantee its safe operation. EU research on the fourth generation of nuclear power plants is an indirect admission that there are currently no inherently safe reactors, not even the EPR.
  • Terrorist and cyber attacks on nuclear facilities become increasingly likely. Hinkley Point C appears to be relying on purely digital control technology for its reactor protection, which is significantly susceptible to failure and terrorist digital attacks.
  • Renewable energy technologies are much cheaper, faster to install and can provide safe and secure power. A recent study by the Energy Watch Group and Lappeenranta University of Technology proved that renewable energy and storage systems could cover the worldwide electricity demand, even without a base load.

 

Find the complete brief here in englishdeutsch, français.

 

Press contact: Energy Watch Group, Tel: +49 30 609 898 810, presse©energywatchgroup.org

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG commissions research and independent studies and analyses on global energy developments.

February 15, 2018, Berlin – The Ludwig Bölkow Foundation and Energy Watch Group have joined the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action, an international network of leading players in renewable energy, which aims to promote a faster and wider uptake of renewable energy technologies.

The Coalition for Action has more than 70 members including private companies, industry associations, civil society, research institutes and international organizations. The coalition is a key international network to discuss industry trends, share knowledge and exchange best practices for the global energy transformation.

„We are very proud to join forces with the IRENA Coalition for Action and are looking forward to joint action to ensure a swift and just global transition to renewable energy. As an active member of the working group „Towards 100% Renewable Energy Group“ we look forward to exchange of our expertise and know-how,“ President of Energy Watch Group Hans-Josef Fell said.

The Coalition for Action operates through a merger of business and investor focused groups, which work on removing barriers for large scale investments, community energy and corporate sourcing of renewables. Additionally communication working groups are creating joint communication campaigns about relevant renewable energy topics. Among members of the Coalition for Action are REN21, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Future Council, World Resources Institute, WWF, CAN International, Greenpeace and World Wind Energy Association.

Press contact: Energy Watch Group, Tel: +49 30 609 898 810, presse©energywatchgroup.org

About Energy Watch Group

Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG commissions research and independent studies and analyses on global energy developments.

A global transition to 100% renewable electricity is not a long-term vision, but already a tangible reality, a new groundbreaking study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) shows. The study was presented on November 8, 2017 during the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase event (GRESS) on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn.

The results of the study are revealing: A global electricity system fully based on renewable energy is feasible at every hour throughout the year and is more cost effective than the existing system, which is largely based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050[1]. Total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is €52/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to €70/MWh in 2015.

“A full decarbonization of the electricity system by 2050 is possible for lower system cost than today based on available technology. Energy transition is no longer a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but of political will”, Christian Breyer, lead author of the study, LUT Professor of Solar Economy and Chairman of the EWG Scientific Board said.

A transition to 100% renewables would bring greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector down to zero and drastically reduce total losses in power generation. It would create 36 million jobs by 2050, 17 million more than today.

”There is no reason to invest one more Dollar in fossil or nuclear power production”, EWG President Hans-Josef Fell said. “Renewable energy provides cost-effective power supply. All plans for a further expansion of coal, nuclear, gas and oil have to be ceased. More investments need to be channeled in renewable energies and the necessary infrastructure for storage and grids. Everything else will lead to unnecessary costs and increasing global warming.”

The key findings of the study:

  • Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050. The world population is expected to grow from 7.3 to 9.7 billion. The global electricity demand for the power sector is set to increase from 24,310 TWh in 2015 to around 48,800 TWh by 2050.
  • Total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is €52/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to €70/MWh in 2015.
  • Due to rapidly falling costs, solar PV and battery storage increasingly drive most of the electricity system, with solar PV reaching some 69%, wind energy 18%, hydropower 8% and bioenergy 2% of the total electricity mix in 2050 globally.
  • Wind energy increases to 32% by 2030. Beyond 2030 solar PV becomes more competitive. The solar PV supply share increases from 37% in 2030 to about 69% in 2050.
  • Batteries are the key supporting technology for solar PV. The storage output covers 31% of the total demand in 2050, 95% of which is covered by batteries alone. Battery storage provides mainly diurnal storage, and renewable energy based gas provides seasonal storage.
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions significantly reduce from about 11 GtCO2eqin 2015 to zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, as the total LCOE of the power system
  • The global energy transition to a 100% renewable electricity system creates 36 million jobs by 2050 in comparison to 19 million jobs in the 2015 electricity system.
  • The total losses in a 100% renewable electricity system are around 26% of the total electricity demand, compared to the current system in which about 58% of the primary energy input is lost.

The study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector” will have major implications for policy makers and politicians around the world, as it refutes a frequently used argument by critics that renewables cannot provide full energy supply on an hourly basis.

The first of its art modeling, developed by LUT, computes the cost-optimal mix of technologies based on locally available renewable energy sources for the world structured in 145 regions and calculates the most cost-effective energy transition pathway for electricity supply on an hourly resolution for an entire reference year. The global energy transition scenario is carried out in 5-year time periods from 2015 until 2050. The results are aggregated into nine major regions of the world: Europe, Eurasia, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, SAARC, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and South America.

The study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector” is co-funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and the Stiftung Mercator.

Click here for key findings and the executive summary

The full study is available here

A presentation summarising the global results and further links to regions and countries is available here

Press contact: Doreen Rietentiet, Energy Watch Group, Tel: +49 30 609 898 810, presse©energywatchgroup.org

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG commissions research and independent studies and analyses on global energy developments.

[1] The simulations of the global power sector in this study were made until 2050. Yet, with favorable political frameworks, the transition to 100% renewable energy can be realized earlier than 2050.

New Study on
100% Renewable Electricity Worldwide

Invitation to the launch of the study on November 8, 2017 in Bonn

As costs for renewable energy keep falling, and emerging markets lead in green energy investment, a global power system fully based on renewable energy is no longer a long-term vision.

On November 8, 2017, Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Energy Watch Group will present its new groundbreaking study*, which models a global transition to 100% renewable electricity.

The first of its kind modeling shows that existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage, can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050. With favorable political frameworks, this transition can be realized even earlier.

The study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector” will be launched at the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase (GRESS) event on November 8, 2017 from 13:30 to 16:00 CET on the sidelines of the international climate change conference COP23 in Bonn.

Join our experts to discuss the results of the study and its implications for the global efforts to combat climate change and the global energy policy-making.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone, who might be interested to attend the event.

Address: Federal Art and Exhibition Hall, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4, 53113 Bonn. It is a 10-minute walk from the Bula Zone of COP23.

*The study is co-funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) and Stiftung Mercator.

October 17, 2017, Berlin –  The international network of scientists and parliamentarians Energy Watch Group has joined the Climate Action Network(CAN), the worldwide network of over 1100 non-governmental organizations, working on climate and energy issues.

On October 13, the Energy Watch Group was officially endorsed as a member by the General Assembly of the network’s regional chapter CAN Europe. The General Assembly took place on October 12-13 in Brussels.

“We are proud to become part of the Climate Action Network and are looking forward to exchange and joined action on tackling climate change and accelerating the energy transition to 100% renewables in Europe and worldwide”, President of Energy Watch Group Hans-Josef Fell said.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, representing over 44 million citizens, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.

Press contact: Energy Watch Group, Tel: +49 30 609 898 810, presse©energywatchgroup.org

About Energy Watch Group

Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit global network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG commissions research and independent studies and analyses on global energy developments.