UN Report: Renewable Energy Best Way to Cut Emissions

wind with sunA report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that renewable energy is making a difference in the fight against global warming and that we need more of it. In fact, renewable energy is the best way to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

At least 56 nations have policies that promote renewable energy and 44 countries, states, and provinces have requirements that a certain portion of their energy must come from renewable sources.

All told, the Renewables 2007: Global Status Report found that renewable energy continued its double-digit growth in 2007 and that more than 5 gigatons (5 billion tons) of CO2 were avoided. By the end of this year, investment in wind power, solar power, and other technologies should surpass $100 billion.

Wind power receives the largest share of that investment, beating out large hydropower.

So how to do we keep this momentum going? While renewable energy may have moved from an “alternative” source into mainstream use, Mohamed El Ashry, head of the global policy network REN21 that produced the report with the WorldWatch Institute, said that policymakers can do more:

“[Renewable energy] growth is being driven by policies to promote renewable energy, which have mushroomed over the past few years. What’s needed now are binding targets in an international agreement to establish policies that can rapidly accelerate the large-scale deployment of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels.”

Unlike the promises of future technologies like “cleaner” coal or mainstream carbon sequestration, renewable energy is the best option to mitigate global warming because it is here, now, and making an impact. The UNEP reports that the costs of renewable energy will continue to decline and that the clean energy sector is an avenue to economic development, energy security, local environmental benefits, and a global warming solution.

News Blaze
Reuters, via Thoughts on Global Warming Blog
United Nations Environment Programme

  1. William White

    I can’t figure why people are building those ridiculous wind turbines when the Mag-lev system is available. You don’t need to be an engineer to see that a propeller on a stick is a bad design.

    Bunch of sheep.

  2. Tim Hurst

    With all due respect, ‘people are building those ridiculous wind turbines’ because the turbine has been a proven mechanism for harvesting wind energy since the early windmills. The same justification can be used for solar; people are building solar systems (p-v, concentrating, solar thermal) because they are proven technologies that can extract power from the sun and convert it for specific needs and uses. We build geothermal heat-exchangers because that is the most efficient way to make energy from the earth’s burning core. My question is,can Mag-lev do any of the forementioned processes?

    Just as mag-lev may be a viable energy source for certain applications, so are many other technologies.

  3. cafecat

    There’s a company in CA: http://nanosolar.com that has created the ability to make solar panels without the need for silicon. They can make solar that is cheaper than coal! The possible impact this technology could have on the future of energy in places like China, India and Africa is immense. Their first huge order is with Europe, next – all the ‘million solar roofs’ in CA.

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