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While many building professionals deserve recognition for years of aggressive, positive change in the direction of pursuing green design and construction, they can’t save the world on their own. The costs of fossil fuel dependency are becoming ever clearer: climate change; massive oil spills; pipeline explosions.


Something has to give.


Painting a stirring picture of our planet’s diminishing fossil fuel sources, The Energy Report, a well-researched document recently released by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, urges a full transformation to renewable energy by 2050.


“If everyone in the world used oil at the same rate as the average Saudi, Singaporean, or U.S. resident, the world’s proven oil reserves would be used up in less than 10 years,” states the 256-page report, produced in collaboration with Ecofys, a Netherlands-based research firm, and the office for Metropolitan Architecture, a prestigious global architectural firm.


But make no mistake, the report (see graphic excerpts below) doesn’t aim to spread gloom and doom. Rather, it offers strategic steps toward a renewable future. And with buildings currently accounting for more than a third of the world’s global energy consumption, cleaning up the building sector plays a key role in that strategy.


The paper presents a two-pronged approach: aggressive energy conservation and proactive development of renewable energy solutions.


As the report begins to reach industry leaders, some are offering support as WWF Clean Energy Ambassadors, such as Eelco van Heel, CEO and group president of the Denmark-based global insulation manufacturer Rockwool International.


“Building a better tomorrow based on renewable energy starts today,” he says. “We must revolutionize the way we build and renovate our houses in order to stop the massive waste of energy, as described in The Energy Report.”


 


ENERGY SUPPLY, YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW


By ratcheting down our energy use and embracing renewable energy use, Ecofys’ Energy Scenario suggests how the world’s energy profile should look in the coming decades.


Breaking down the targeted sources of energy supply as we move through the next 40 years, the goal is for buildings to eventually tap only bio, geothermal, and solar thermal sources.


The report suggests that in coming years, renewables should ascend and fossil fuels shrink in importance.


Courtesy: WWF

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