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A competitive clean energy economy on the horizon

10 Jun 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Clean Energy

A world ran entirely by clean energy sources is becoming increasingly likely as new technology, increased demand, and efficiency developments make what was once a challenge a legitimate reality. 

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that as much as 80% of the world’s energy needs could be met through renewable sources by 2050. Another report, by the environmental group WWF believes there is room to be even more optimistic, estimating clean energy’s potential to fulfill 100 percent of the world’s demand by mid-century. 

Solar power alone is already nearing cost-competitiveness with fossil fuels. Due to technological advances and high production, solar power costs have dropped 60 percent in the last five years. One southwest company, First Solar plans to sell power through California utilities for as low as 10-12 cents per kilowatt hour—a price that is competitive with gas. 

To date, bio-energy, wind, solar, geothermal energy, hydropower and ocean energy make up for only 13 percent of the world’s energy supply.

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