Study: double renewables by 2030 to save $4.2trln

Study: double renewables by 2030 to save $4.2trln


Research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has shown that doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix to 36 per cent by 2030 could save the world economy up to US$4.2 trillion a year.

The IRENA research says that currently around 18 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014 was accounted for by renewable sources, such as wind and solar.

sun-wind-scotland-renewableUnder existing national policies, the share of renewable energy is forecast to reach 21 per cent by 2030.

Doubling the current share would help achieve a global target to limit the rise in the global average temperature to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The target was agreed at a United Nations sponsored summit in Paris last year, which endorsed a deal now known as the Paris Agreement.

IRENA-socioeco-benefits-graphicIRENA is an intergovernmental organisation that focuses on realising the potential of renewable energy.

The report said the cost of doubling the renewable share by 2030 would be US$290 billion a year, but the annual net savings from reducing pollution and emissions on human health and agriculture would be between US$1.2 trillion and US$4.2 trillion.

Adnan Amin secretary general International Renewable Energy Agency“Achieving a doubling is not only feasible, it is cheaper than not doing so,” IRENA’s director general Adnan Amin said in a statement.

“It would create more jobs, save millions of lives from reduced air pollution and set us on a pathway to limit global temperature rise to two degrees as agreed in Paris,” he added.

The IRENA report said a transition towards greater shares of renewable energy in the global energy mix would also cause a shift in trade patterns.

newcastle-coal-port-ships-loadAs a result it would more than halve global imports of coal and reduce oil and gas imports, benefiting large importers like Japan, India, Korea and the European Union.

Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics, builds on previous IRENA analysis on the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy.

IRENA-renewables-jobs-socioeco-benefitsSeparately, the European Environment Agency said the share of renewable energy in the European Union crept up to 15.2 per cent in 2014 from 15 per cent in 2013, according to preliminary data for 2014, the latest year available.

The full report can be downloaded here.


  1. This is wonderful reading.

    I would like to pour more water on the mill:

    United Airlines has taken-off on a biofuel blend of 30/70.

    Though the initial purchase agreement is only 15,000,000 gallons of biofuel (equal to 357,000 barrels) it is another milestone in transition from black to green energy sources.

    In this regard I find two aspects worth to notice:
    A. This is another private initiative, as discussed below:

    B. This will reduce demand for fossil fuel, as discussed below:

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