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Renewables revolution

November 24, 2023

Mankind is facing the greatest upheaval since industrialization. To stop climate change, the energy system must be transformed worldwide and fossil fuels must be completely replaced. But is this even possible?


Time is running out. If climate targets are still to be met and the survival of future generations is to be ensured, virtually all fossil energy sources worldwide will have to be replaced by renewables by 2050. That leaves us with almost exactly one generation from today to make this massive change. So what needs to happen for the global energy transition to succeed? Part 1 of this two-part documentary looks at the question of whether it’s even possible to provide enough green energy for the whole world. How can the oil economy be replaced? The film travels to places that could one day become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energies. For example, gigantic offshore wind farms in the North Sea, or the most modern solar fields in Spain. One day, these regions will supply all of Europe with electricity. However, the globally increasing demand for energy must be met in ways that are both sustainable and affordable. Researchers at the Technical University of Ilmenau in Thuringia are working with a team from the California Institute of Technology on high-tech materials that will make renewable energies more efficient and less expensive than their fossil fuel predecessors.

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About the show

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Exciting stories, a wide variety of topics, fascinating pictures: every day, half or three-quarters of an hour of carefully researched background reports from the worlds of politics, business, science, culture, nature, history, lifestyle and sport.