Fossil-fuel use “can end by 2090”

Global use fossil fuels can be eliminated by 2090 by spending trillions of dollars on a renewable-energy revolution, according to study by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and the environmental group Greenpeace. The study is one of few to examine in detail the issue of overhauling energy use, Reuters reported.

Entitled "Energy (R)evolution", the study said that — in a shift away from the fossil fuels blamed for global warming — solar power, biomass (including biofuels and wood), geothermal energy and wind could be the dominant energy sources by 2090. In a more radical scenario, coal use could be eliminated by 2050, the study said, if new power plants switched quickly to renewable energy sources.

The report estimated that a total of US$14.7 trillion in energy investments would be needed until 2030. In contrast, the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises rich nations, cites a figure of  US$11.3 trillion and includes greater use of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Greenpeace and EREC — the umbrella association of Europe’s renewable energy sector — said a big energy shift was needed to avoid "dangerous" climate change. That threshold is widely defined as a temperature rise of 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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