Yes: we’ll have to invest a lot but in the long term this could save the planet as well as huge sums of money, according to the IEA.
According to the International Energy Agency if the world replaced fossil fuels with renewables as its primary source of energy by 2050 the global economy will have saved US$ 71 trillion.
The IEA’s soberly named biennial report Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 casts a look at the energy sector over the next 40 years.
While these are the long term net gains, there are also some seriously costly investments needed to spur these changes.
The IEA estimates that an additional US$44 trillion of investment will be needed to meet 2050 carbon reduction targets.
This represents an increase of 22% from the figure the Agency gave two years ago ($36 trillion).
The investments would guarantee that the average temperature rise since the industrial revolution is limited to 2-degrees Celsius.
According to the Agency investments in renewables, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage would – in the long term – yield more than $115 trillion in fuel savings.
According to Maria van der Hoeven - executive director of the Paris-based IEA – coal use if still growing and outpacing that of renewable energies, while the intensity of electricity emissions has remained stable for the past two decades, though there has been some progress in certain areas.
The agency claims that tripling the use of renewable energy, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage by 2050 would be crucial to reaching the goal carbon reduction goal.