Experts at DLR, a German aerospace center, carried out a study commissioned by environmental groups.
The EU already has a 2020 goal that 20% of energy production should be “green,” or carbon-free, but the 2012 Energyrevolution report urges governments to go further.
There should be more investment in solar and wind power as well as greater energy efficiency to reduce demand, according to the report, which was commissioned by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council. Subsidies for energy production that emits carbon, such as coal, should be phased out.
Immediate change is needed, the study says.
“Each year we emit almost 30 billion metric tons of carbon equivalent,”
The study forecasts significant financial benefits by 2050 despite an expected investment of 99 billion euros, according to Reuters.
“Because renewable energy has no fuel costs,” the report states, “the fuel cost savings in the Energyrevolution scenario reach a total of 3,010 billion euros up to 2050, or 75 billion per year.”
Moving to renewable energy also would lead to hiring, and the report predicts up to 500,000 new jobs.
The EU has agreed on the goals of producing 20% of energy from “green” sources, improving efficiency by 20% and reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, but has no binding targets beyond that year.
“A continuation of the successful triple targets for 2030 will provide industry certainty, mobilize investment in renewable and energy saving technologies and secure the necessary climate ambition,” the report states.
EU members have been debating adopting another set of three goals.
The report sets out a goal for 2030 of having 45% renewable energy and warns that change must start now.
“The expert consensus is that a fundamental shift in the way we consume and generate energy must begin immediately and be well under way within the next 10 years in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change,” the report states.