The World Wildlife Fund partnered with Ecofys to create a global energy report that attempted to demonstrate how global energy demand in 2050 could be met entirely with renewable sources.
The report, THE ENERGY REPORT: 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2050 is split into two parts – the first, by WWF, is meant to motivate and excite readers around several key global energy imperatives from climate change to energy equity to diminishing natural resources.
WWF argues that because of these enormous challenges, “renewable energy isn’t the best option. It’s our only option.” (pg 13).
The second section by Ecofys builds the evidence to support WWF’s wide-reaching conclusions.
Interestingly, behind the flashy graphics and bold statements, the underlying conclusion of the report—that all global energy demand can be met with renewable energy—is dependent on significant energy efficiency.
The graph demonstrates the need for a massive reduction in energy demand by 2050, while also providing energy services to a growing population.
Energy efficiency, unlike many renewable energy technologies, is cost-effective today. The challenges are institutional not technological or financial and therefore require rethinking our financing structures, our utility models, and the role cities can play in creating the necessary conditions for massive energy efficiency.