Renewable Energy Futures to 2050: Current Thinking

April 18, 2013 3:00PM-4:00PM (E19-319)
The REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report provides a pioneering synthesis of the full range of credible possibilities for the future of renewable energy. The report is not one scenario or viewpoint, but captures the contemporary thinking of 170 leading experts from around the world, including CEOs and parliamentarians, as expressed in face-to-face interviews with the report author. The report also incorporates the results of 50 recently published and prominent energy scenarios by a range of organizations. Conservative projections show 15-20% global energy shares from renewables in the long-term to 2030 and 2050, about the same as the current share. High-renewables projections show shares in the 50-95% range.  A range of integration options for electric power grids, buildings, industry, and transport are possible.  Annual investment in renewable energy rose from $40 billion in 2004 to over $260 billion today, and several projections reach to $500 billion by 2020 and beyond, from new sources of finance. Strong future growth in national markets is projected from a range of policies and targets, with cases for the US, EU, Japan, China, and India. Projections for global technology markets show cost reductions, technology evolution possibilities, and multi-fold capacity increases. A series of "Great Debates" throughout the report frame current issues.

Dr. Eric Martinot is an internationally recognized scholar, writer, and teacher on the subject of renewable energy. He is report author of the just-released REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report, and was lead author until 2010 of the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report, an annual synthesis that he first created in 2005. He currently serves as senior research director with the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Tokyo and teaching fellow with Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He also maintains research affiliations with the Worldwatch Institute and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, and is an editorial board member for the journal Energy Policy. He lived in Beijing for three years as senior visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, and was formerly a senior energy specialist with the World Bank, renewable energy program manager with the Global Environment Facility, and adjunct professor of public policy at the University of Maryland. He has written 70 publications on renewable and sustainable energy since 1990, and holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Co-sponsored by the MIT Energy Club

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