A newly established global alliance of civil society organizations, academics, business associations and policy makers has called upon national legislators to commit to 100 percent renewable energy in the power, heating&cooling and transportation sector. At the Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy Conference, taking place in San Francisco, California, the alliance launched a new international campaign that seeks to build political will among a critical mass of decision makers and set a required goal of 100% renewable energies. Among the founding partners of the new alliance are the World Future Council, Renewables 100 Policy Institute, World Wind Energy Association, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, DeENet and World Bioenergy Association.
“It is a fact that non-renewable energies will, by definition, run out. It is also a fact that in the meantime, dependence on these energy sources is causing multiple existential global crises. If human beings are to preserve modernity and planetary habitability, we must soon shift to 100% renewable energy in all sectors,”said Stefan Schurig, Director of Climate and Energy, World Future Council. In a joint statement the representatives of the new alliance also state that despite this basic logic, so far most political decision makers have taken measures nowhere near proportional to the problem. "One fundamental necessity to breaking the inertia should be a robust, global call for 100% renewable energy that creates urgently needed political will among legislators around the globe,"says Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute.
“The technologies to harvest these energy sources already exist today, and they are already cost-competitive,”says Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of World Wind Energy Association. “It is the responsibility of our generation to do whatever we can in order to switch as fast as possible to 100% renewable energy."
Upgrading renewable energies mainly results in structural change from which regions and communities are the principal beneficiaries. Several regions, communities and cities for example in Germany and Denmark prove that this ambitious goal is already becoming a reality. The success story of those regions comes as a consequence of high citizen participation and the regional value creation taking place through decentralized energy production.
The alliance therefore calls upon local, regional and national policy makers to implement political frameworks that enable citizens and municipalities to profit from this transition. “The right political framework, including positive goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy, is absolutely crucial to achieve 100% renewable energy,” says Prof. Eicke Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer ISE and former Professor at UC Berkeley. “Our task is to adapt policy frameworks on all governance levels to today`s reality and to further develop best policies.”
To that end, knowledge transfer and exchange between policy makers are vital. At the Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy Conference, one message resounded: we must establish networks between trailblazing countries and people to realize the implementation of a global energy transition with 100 percent renewable energy. Weber: Despite numerous good practices and successful policy instruments, existing solutions do not always get through to policy makers in government. I hope this campaign helps to facilitate this kind of dialogue so countries can learn from the invaluable experiences of frontrunner countries like Germany, Denmark and other countries in order to avoid wasting scarce resources.