Renewables, a 100% green world is possible

11 september 2017

Could we possibly achieve 100% of energy from renewables by 2050? This possibility, which seemed little more than a dream just a few years ago, is now becoming a reality. At least that’s the message coming out of a recent survey conducted by a team of American researchers.

139 countries could make the transition to 100% renewables by 2050, according to scientists at Stanford University (link to survey results?). ENGIE has made the transition to a low-carbon world one of its core strategic challenges.

More than 24 million jobs created and around 5 million early deaths as a result of pollution avoided: at the global level, the energy transition to a completely low-carbon world is an enormous challenge. For ENGIE as a major stakeholder in renewables worldwide, it is also a responsibility challenge.


According to the 27 Stanford University researchers who co-wrote the article published in Joule magazine, our current technologies are sufficient to achieve 80% of renewables worldwide by 2030, and 100% by 2050. In arriving at this conclusion, the scientists based their work primarily on the forecasts of  the International Energy Agency indicating the energy needs of each country between now and 2050. They then quantified the amount of solar, wind and geothermal energy available and identified those production combinations with the potential to meet the annual demand of each country across all sectors (residential, industrial, transportation, agriculture, etc.).

One of their primary recommendations is the mass installation of solar panels on the roofs of houses and service-sector buildings alongside the intensive expansion of wind power and hydropower. Theirs is an ambitious road plan which, according to the research team, will deliver benefits at every level, from job creation to public health improvements and reduced energy demand from end-users. Estimates suggest that annual consumption would fall from 12,105 terawatts (TW) to 11,840 TW (compared with more than 20,000 TW if nothing were to change between now and 2050).


ENGIE has made the global energy transition one of its key priorities. The Group is the world’s leading independent power generator, with an installed capacity base of 112.7 gigawatts (GW), of which 20% is contributed by renewables (hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal, biomass, etc.). It targets a 25% contribution from renewables to the Group energy generation portfolio by 2020.

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