A global electricity system fully based on renewable energy is feasible at every hour throughout the year. It is said to be more cost effective than the existing system, largely based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
“There is no reason to invest one more dollar in fossil or nuclear power production,” said EWG president Hans-Josef Fell.”
The study pointed out benefits accompanying such a transition to renewables—bringing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector down to zero and reducing total losses in power generation. It would create 36 million jobs by 2050, 17 million more than the sector has today.
Total levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is given as €52/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to €70/MWh in 2015.
In sum, the transition would be driven by solar PV and battery storage, with solar PV accounting for 69% of the total 2050 energy mix followed by wind with 18%, hydropower with 8%, and bioenergy with 2%, according to the study.
As for batteries, they were said to be the key supporting technology for solar PV. “The storage output covers 31% of the total demand in 2050, 95% of which is covered by batteries alone.”