Four Belgian energy ministers, the federal minister, and three regional ministers commissioned three scientific partners as part of an effort towards evolving the Belgian energy system in 2011. The three partners are the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the Council of Institute and Studies in Sustainable Development (ICEDD), and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO).
The consortium is to bring to light the possibilities of the Belgian energy system transitioning exclusively to the use renewable energy. A Belgian energy mix of all renewable energy by 2050 is the goal.
Portail de l’énergie en Wallonie reports that the three regions and the federal government funded the study. Published in December 2012, following months of work, the final report invited discussions with stakeholders and national experts. Recurrent meetings with a steering committee that consists of members of government and ministerial offices met. Prior to that, meetings with stakeholders joined with experts at relevant stages of the study.
Portail de l’énergie en Wallonie explains that the fundamental question was “How to reach the goal of 100% renewable energy in Belgium in 2050?” The focus of the group with the overarching question was concurrently done with the associated questions: “What technologies are developing? What is the cost of such a mutation?”
Portail de l’énergie en Wallonie continues that questions revolved about policies and actions that would need to be put into effect to account for the result of all renewable energy. Thus, the study sought to answer and illustrate its analysis and assessment of various long-term developments of the Belgian energy system that meet the requirement of full transformation to renewable energy system by 2050.
“After development of an articulated baseline on energy system not subject to this requirement, the study explores various pathways consistent with the goal of 100% renewable energy in 2050.” The study also determines the socioeconomic impacts of varying situations the team considers. And lastly, “the study outlines measures to be implemented to achieve the goal of 100% RES.”
These paths reconcile economic growth with ease. The article emphasizes, “The analysis leads to the undeniable conclusion that radical changes are needed in multiple areas of the entire society to achieve the desired level of penetration of renewable energy in 2050.” However, it also states that accomplishing this adaptation will include diverse options — technological and intertemporal.
The article suggests that although the study’s research answers some questions, it also brings other issues to light: storage capacities, sustainable biomass availability, technologies related to hydrogen. Another is the issue or social implications that may need consideration beyond the first study.
Yes, there are at present countries with quite high penetration levels of wind and solar power, check out CleanTechnica’s article (Study Central) for an excellent list (here is some):
- Iceland Already Gets Its Electricity 100% From Renewable Energy
- Tokelau Has Hit 100% Renewable Energy
- Denmark Saw 40.7% Of Electricity Produced From Renewable Energy In 2011, 28.1% From Wind Energy (and Denmark Is Aiming For 50% Electricity From Wind By 2020)
- Germany Had 26% Of Its Electricity Come From Renewable Energy In The 1st Half Of 2012
- Germany Went On To Install A Record Amount Of Solar Power In 2012, A Whopping 7.6 GW Of New Capacity
- Scotland Is Aiming For 100% Renewable Power Supply By 2020 (Up From An Earlier Target Of 100% Renewable Power By 2025)
- 94% Renewable Electricity By 2017 Is The Goal For Nicaragua
- 90% Renewable Electricity By 2015 Is The Goal For Uruguay
- And Here’s A List of Countries With Over 60% Renewable Electricity Today
And in the States, CleanTechnica reports on bills introduced in Hawaii leading to the state’s target goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030, and to 100% by 2040 in renewable energy. Using Hawaii’s plentiful natural resources and not expensive fossil fuels — it is ideal to project that the state will expand its renewable energy industry considerably: sunlight, wind, and geothermal.