Renewables major part of 2050 world energy mix: UN

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Paris: Renewable power from the Sun, wind, water and biomass can and should generate a major portion of the planet`s energy supply by 2050, according to a draft United Nations report.

Renewables have the potential to bring power to the world`s poorest regions, boost energy security for nations dependent on imports, and curb the CO2 emissions that fuel global warming, the draft said.

The 30-page "summary for policy makers" — boiled down from 1,500 pages — is being vetted at a May 5-13 meeting of the 194-nation Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in Abu Dhabi, and will be unveiled Monday.

"The final version is likely be substantially different in wording and perhaps somewhat in emphasis, but not a great deal in substance," said an industry representative participating in talks.

By far the most comprehensive UN assessment of the status and potential for the clean energy sector, the report weighs 164 separate development scenarios.

Six types of renewables accounted in 2008 for 12.9 percent of global energy supply: biomass (10.2 percent), hydropower (2.3), wind (0.2), solar (0.1), geothermal (0.1) and ocean (0.002).

Once traditional use of firewood and animal dung for cooking and heating is set aside, however, that percentage drops to about seven.

Coal, oil and gas together make up 85 percent, and nuclear energy two.

Boosted by some government policies, declining technology costs and rising fossil fuel prices, "deployment of renewable energy has been increasing rapidly in recent years," the draft summary said.

The sector contributed, for example, nearly half of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity added worldwide in 2008 and 2009, with more than 50 percent installed in developing countries. Coal accounted for most of the rest.

Renewables have the potential to bring power to the world`s poorest regions, boost energy security for nations dependent on imports, and curb the CO2 emissions that fuel global warming, the draft said.

The 30-page "summary for policy makers" — boiled down from 1,500 pages — is being vetted at a May 5-13 meeting of the 194-nation Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in Abu Dhabi, and will be unveiled Monday.

"The final version is likely be substantially different in wording and perhaps somewhat in emphasis, but not a great deal in substance," said an industry representative participating in talks.

By far the most comprehensive UN assessment of the status and potential for the clean energy sector, the report weighs 164 separate development scenarios.

Six types of renewables accounted in 2008 for 12.9 percent of global energy supply: biomass (10.2 percent), hydropower (2.3), wind (0.2), solar (0.1), geothermal (0.1) and ocean (0.002).

Once traditional use of firewood and animal dung for cooking and heating is set aside, however, that percentage drops to about seven.

Coal, oil and gas together make up 85 percent, and nuclear energy two.

Boosted by some government policies, declining technology costs and rising fossil fuel prices, "deployment of renewable energy has been increasing rapidly in recent years," the draft summary said.

The sector contributed, for example, nearly half of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity added worldwide in 2008 and 2009, with more than 50 percent installed in developing countries. Coal accounted for most of the rest.

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