Report shows global benefits of scaling up renewables

Report shows global benefits of scaling up renewables

Report shows global benefits of scaling up renewables

Global gross domestic product (GDP) would rise by up to 1.1 per cent - the equivalent of about US$1.3 trillion (£909 billion) - if the share of renewables in the global energy mix was increased to 36 per cent, new research has indicated.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) released a report providing the first global estimate of the macroeconomic effects of sustainable energy deployment.

It also highlighted the potential advantages of doubling the global share of renewables by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.

The projected GDP benefit of US$1.3 trillion has a higher value than the combined economies of Chile, South Africa and Switzerland, as of today.

Furthermore, the positive ramifications of more widespread use of sustainable energy would extend to human welfare and social wellbeing, according to Irena.

The agency said the effects of renewable energy deployment on welfare is expected to be up to four times more pronounced than its impact on GDP, with global welfare increasing by up to 3.7 per cent.

Furthermore, employment in sustainable power sectors would rise from 9.2 million jobs worldwide today to more than 24 million jobs by 2030.

Placing greater emphasis on renewables would also have consequences for international trade, halving global imports of coal and reducing imports of oil and gas, to the benefit of large importers like Japan, India, South Korea and the European Union.

While this would seem to be a negative development for countries that depend on fossil fuel exports, Irena argued that it would allow them to develop more diversified economies.

Japan is expected to see the largest GDP impact (2.3 per cent) if renewables grow to make up more than a third of the global energy mix, while Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea would also be expected to achieve growth of over one per cent each.

Speaking to mark the launch of the new research, Adnan Amin, Irena director-general, referred to the recent climate summit in Paris, which concluded with countries from all over the world committing to an agreement to tackle global warming and reduce their respective carbon footprints.

One of the goals emerging from the talks was to limit average global temperature increases to two degrees Celsius, preferably keeping the figure below 1.5 degrees C.

Mr Amin said this agreement "Sent a strong signal for countries to move from negotiation to action and rapidly decarbonise the energy sector".

"This analysis provides compelling evidence that achieving the needed energy transition would not only mitigate climate change, but also stimulate the economy, improve human welfare and boost employment worldwide," he continued

"Mitigating climate change through the deployment of renewable energy and achieving other socio-economic targets is no longer an 'either-or' equation. Thanks to the growing business case for renewable energy, an investment in one is an investment in both. That is the definition of a win-win scenario."


Posted by Julie Tucker

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