Solar Able To Meet A Quarter Of Global Energy Needs By 2040
Berlin, October 17, 2001: Solar power could provide energy for more than 1 billion people, creating over 2 million jobs by 2020, and 26% of global energy needs by 2040, according to a report released by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and Greenpeace in Berlin today.
The report 'Solar Generation' shows that solar photovoltaics have the potential to make a major contribution to both the future of secure global electricity supply, and to help prevent dangerous climate change.
"It's a realistic, achievable goal, based on the current state of the industry and opportunities in the market, but it requires clear political support from governments around the world," said Sven Teske, Greenpeace energy expert. "We need to massively boost renewable energy sources if we are to phase out the fossil fuels that threaten our climate.
"As part of the global Choose Positive Energy campaign, Greenpeace is calling on world governments to provide renewable energy to 2 billion of the world's poorest people in the next decade. Even using conservative estimates, this report shows solar energy is able to fulfil a large part of this demand, and create millions of jobs globally."
The EPIA, representing 54 of Europe's leading solar companies, is responding to this challenge by expanding its role as a global advocate for solar energy.
"We must have a clear signal from national governments that there is a political commitment to expanding the role of solar electricity in the energy mix. In particular, the European Commission must ensure that innovative national incentive schemes for solar electricity are not invalidated on competition grounds," said Teske.
The report shows that by 2020 global solar output could be 276 Terawatt hours, which would equal 30% of Africa's energy needs, or 10% of OECD European demand, or 1% of global demand. This would replace the output of 75 new coal fired power stations and prevent the emission of 664million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The global solar infrastructure would have an investment value of US$75 billion a year and lower the cost of solar modules to US$1 per Wp achieved.
By 2040 global solar output could be more than 9000 Terawatt hours, or 26% of the expected global demand which would have increased from 27,000 to 35,000 Terawatt hours. That's more than the combined demand of OECD Europe and North America in 1998.
Renewable energy technologies, utilising the power of not only the sun, but also wind and water, generate clean energy that will neither run out nor lead to the build-up of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Choosing renewables over fossil fuels is also to choose energy security. Fossil fuels, due to their wholesale contribution to the climate catastrophe, represent an intrinsically insecure energy source regardless of whether they are come from Alaska, the Caspian Sea, the Middle East or elsewhere. Turning to renewables would mean that countries are able to generate their own indigenous energy supplies which would be reliable, wherever they were generated.
The Solar Generation report is available on www.greenpeace.org For more information on the Choose Positive Energy campaign visit http://www.choose-positive-energy.org