Now that the new decade has begun, it is time to take stock of the situation regarding eco-sustainability issues. First of all, what is going on with renewable energies in the world? The answer to this question comes from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In fact, the EIA has published the annual International Energy Outlook report.
The Transition to Renewable Energies
The report first offers a look at the global energy balance. But above all, it contains the picture of the situation regarding the energy transition. This means, moving from exhaustible, polluting energy sources to alternative, renewable and clean ones.
People are preparing for a new era of energy. We are talking of course about water, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and tidal power. This will be the energy mix of alternative sources with low environmental impact that will be able to move in the near future the economy, cars and industries. And, at a more widespread level, to make our homes work.
According to EIA, the very strong economic and technological development of countries such as India, China and areas such as South-East Asia will boost world primary energy consumption. Estimates suggest that they will grow by an average of 50% by 2050.
After the industrial and transport sectors, residential and commercial buildings will cause the highest energy consumption. This will be due to the general improvement in lifestyles, increasing urbanization and access to electricity. And as we just said, it will happen especially in developing countries. Strong growth in all three sectors will lead to a 79% increase in electricity production by 2050.
How Do Renewables Fit into this Picture?
According to the report, in terms of primary energy production and supply, there will be more and more room for clean and alternative solutions. In particular, renewable energies – solar photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, biofuels – will become the most widely used primary energy. They will exceed natural gas and coal by 2030, and oil by 2050.
So our planet is safe? Can we breathe a sigh of relief? Not really. Unfortunately, according to experts, the global process of energy decarbonisation is certainly underway but is not progressing fast enough. This is especially true if we consider current greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the considerable economic and demographic growth (there will be 10 billion people in 2050!) and the consequent increase in energy consumption will only produce a steady increase in emissions.
Optimization, saving and reduction: these will be the key words of the new energy era. This global revolution cannot only affect primary energy sources, but must involve production plants, distribution networks, supply systems. And, above all, we end consumers.