IPCC Stresses Policy's Role in Advancing Renewables

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"Renewables could provide nearly 80% of global energy supply by 2050."

Ethanol Producer, Kris Bevill

IPCC report on renewablesThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing to release an exhaustive, 1,000-page report on May 31 that will highlight the significant global role renewables can play in providing sustainable energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next 40 years.

Several of the key findings of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation were released May 9 in a summary after being approved by IPCC member countries. The summary is meant to provide governments and other parties with relevant policy information related to the various aspects of six renewable energy sources—bioenergy (including energy crops, residues and second-generation biofuels), solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy.

The IPCC's findings, which reflect the work of more than 120 researchers, show that public policy will be vital to the widespread advancement of renewable energy technologies. If the right policies are put in place, renewable energy could provide nearly 80% of the world's energy supply by 2050, according to the report. Increasing the usage of renewable energies could also reduce global GHG emissions by up to 560 gigatons by 2050, which the IPCC said could contribute toward holding the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said the goal of the IPCC is for the report to provide a scientific assessment of the potential of renewable energy sources to mitigate climate change. "This special report can serve as a sound knowledge basis for policymakers to take on this major challenge of the 21st century," he stated.

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