100% net zero emissions energy

As a gentle reminder, the IPCC report explicitly refuses to endorse calls for 100% renewable energy, and instead calls for 100% net zero emissions energy, which includes renewables, non-renewable clean energy sources like nuclear, and dirty energy sources like natural gas and coal with CCS.

Here are the relevant passages:

"A growing body of literature on 100%-renewable energy scenarios has emerged (e.g., see Creutzig et al., 2017; Jacobson et al., 2017), which goes beyond the wide range of IAM projections of renewable energy shares in 1.5°C and 2°C pathways. While the representation of renewable energy resource potentials, technology costs and system integration in IAMs has been updated since AR5, leading to higher renewable energy deployments in many cases (Luderer et al., 2017; Pietzcker et al., 2017), none of the IAM projections identify 100% renewable energy solutions for the global energy system as part of cost-effective mitigation pathways (Section 2.4.2)."


"The share of energy from renewable sources (including biomass, hydro, solar, wind and geothermal) increases in all 1.5°C pathways with no or limited overshoot, with the renewable energy share of primary energy reaching 38–88% in 2050 (Table 2.6), with an interquartile range of 52–67%."


"In addition to the 1.5°C pathways included in the scenario database (Supplementary Material 2.SM.1.3), there are other analyses in the literature including, for example, sector-based analyses of energy demand and supply options. Even though they were not necessarily developed in the context of the 1.5°C target, they explore in greater detail some options for deep reductions in GHG emissions. For example, there are analyses of transitions to up to 100% renewable energy by 2050 (Creutzig et al., 2017; Jacobson et al., 2017), which describe what is entailed for a renewable energy share largely from solar and wind (and electrification) that is above the range of 1.5°C pathways available in the database, although there have been challenges to the assumptions used in high-renewable analyses (e.g., Clack et al., 2017). There are also analyses that result in a large role for nuclear energy in mitigation of GHGs (Hong et al., 2015; Berger et al., 2017a, b; Xiao and Jiang, 2018). BECCS could also contribute a larger share, but faces challenges related to its land use and impact on food supply (Burns and Nicholson, 2017) (assessed in greater detail in Sections, 4.3.7 and 5.4). These analyses could, provided their assumptions prove plausible, expand the range of 1.5°C pathways."


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