By replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, nations could achieve their emissions commitments without encroaching on vital natural land, according to researchers in the US.
Low-emission energy sources like wind and solar can have a larger geographical footprint than fossil-fuel plants of equivalent capacity. Even so, the renewable-energy potential of already developed land is more than enough to fulfill pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement and could satisfy the total energy demand projected for 2050, the analysis shows.
At the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in 2015, 196 countries agreed to aim to limit warming to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. The rapid cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions needed imply a large-scale shift away from fossil fuels. Renewable-energy schemes are not without environmental impact themselves, however, so it’s important to choose locations and generation techniques that cause the least possible harm. Continue reading “Renewable Energy has Space to Grow”