Clean Power

Published on June 6th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


Doubling Renewable Energy Will Save Money And Help Climate

June 6th, 2014 by  

New research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggests that scaling up the percentage of the world’s renewable energy usage to 36% of the world’s total energy consumption by 2030 is not only going to be healthy for the environment, but is also able to produce savings of up to $740 billion per year on costs associated with pollution from fossil fuels.

The report, “REmap 2030”, explains that scaling up to 36% renewable energy by 2030 will keep planet Earth on track to hold carbon dioxide levels at 450 parts per million (ppm) by 2100, “the widely accepted threshold to limit global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”.


“The central policy question is this: What energy sources do we want to invest in? Our data shows that renewable energy can help avert catastrophic climate change and save the world money, if all costs are considered,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, in New York.

“In answering this question, ‘REmap 2030’ makes a clear case for renewables. It shows the transition is affordable based on existing technologies, and that the benefits go well beyond the positive climate impact. Countries today face a clear choice for a sustainable energy future.”


“We can double the renewable energy share in the global energy mix, but we are not on that path now. To realize the world’s renewable energy potential, all governments need to step up their efforts. We need to act now,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre.

“IRENA recommends focusing on five key areas: planning realistic but ambitious transition pathways; creating enabling business environments; managing knowledge of technology options and their deployment; ensuring smooth integration of renewables into the existing infrastructure; and unleashing innovation.”

IRENA believe that by doubling renewable energy usage to 36%, the global demand for oil and gas would drop by 15% and by 26% for coal. This not only benefits the climate as a whole, but has immediate and long-term benefits for health affected by pollution, as well as energy security for countries currently reliant upon energy imports.

Almost as impressive, however, is that IRENA believe that such an increase in renewable energy usage would create a net gain of nearly one million jobs worldwide by 2030.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • Matt

    “explains that scaling up to 36% renewable energy by 2030 will keep planet Earth on track to hold ” Then the 2030 goal needs to be at least 50%. Oh and why are governments not moving faster, wait for it. “global demand for oil and gas would drop by 15% and by 26% for coal”

  • JamesWimberley

    The report is here (link). (Your job not mine).

    IRENA’s BAU reference scenario is very, IMHO absurdly, conservative. It’s not based on modelling, but on official targets: “The countries first provided their current national plans, which were collated to produce the business-as-usual Reference Cases, including their targets for renewables.”

    The procedure is guaranteed to underestimate change. Take China. They installed 12 GW of solar in 2013. The target is 14GW for 2014. But the official target for 2015 (link) is only 40 GW – implying stagnation in the pace of installation from next year. The target was raised in May – too late for IRENA – to a more realistic 70 GW by 2017(link).

    What happens is that the longer-term targets lag behind the short-term ones. In a market economy like the USA, current policies are leading to a boom in solar and wind well ahead of official EIA forecasts, which have become laughing-stocks.

    IRENA’s recommendations for more determined policies are welcome of course. China still has to set a cap on coal; Obama’s coal regulation is not yet in force. But current policies will still lead to a great expansion in renewables.

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