Top 10 Markers on Net Zero Roadmap
Occasionally a report comes along which doesn't just reflect on current trends but serves as an invaluable blueprint for governments, corporations and consumers. The IEA's Net Zero by 2050 report: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector is one such example. There is much to digest but we have focused on the timelines - the key milestones that need to be reached if net zero is to be achievable by 2050 if not before.
10: 2050: Almost 70% of electricity generation globally from solar PV and wind
By 2050, almost 90% of electricity generation comes from renewable sources, with wind and solar PV accounting for nearly 70%. Most of the remainder comes from nuclear.
Electricity accounts for almost 50% of total energy consumption in 2050. It plays a key role across all sectors – from transport and buildings to industry – and is essential to produce low‐emissions fuels such as hydrogen.
09: 2050: Milestones for Renewables and Industrial Production
The end game for Renewables and Industrial Production with the former accounting for 90% of electricity generation and the latter due to operate 90% of its processes with low emissions. Unprecedented levels of international co-operation will be required to achieve next zero goals, particularly in developing and low-income countries.
08: 2040: Half of aviation fuels to be low emissions
Half of aviation fuels are due to be low emissions by 2040 and oil demand will be half that of 2020 levels. Aviation and shipping remain "challenging" and it remains to be seen if construction meets its goals too; this is also the year when 50% of existing buildings must be retrofitted to zero-carbon-ready levels.
07: 2040: Net Zero Emissions Electricity Globally
From 2030 to 2050, 600GW of solar PV and 340GW of wind will be added each year. The least‐efficient coal plants should have been phased out 10 years ago and all unabated coal by 2040. Investment in electricity grids triples to 2030 and remains elevated to 2050. Transforming the electricity
sector in the way envisioned involves large capacity additions for all low‐emissions fuel and technologies.
06: 2035: Overall Net-Zero Emissions Electricity in Advanced Economies
Hydrogen and ammonia start to emerge as fuel inputs to electricity generation from 2030, used largely in combination with natural gas in gas turbines and with coal in coal‐fired power plants. This extends the life of existing assets, contributes to electricity system adequacy and reduces the overall costs of transforming the electricity sectors in many countries. Advanced economies will need to lead the way with net-zero emissions electricity - although it won't be easy with global electricity demand projected to more than double between now and 2050.
05: 2035: No New Internal Combustion Engine Car Sales
The year 2035 looks a pivotal one for transport: no new internal combustion engine car sales; 50% of heavy truck sales should be electric and all industrial electric motor sales are 'best in class'. It is also the year when most appliances and cooling systems sold are 'best in class' too.
04: 2030s: 1020GW Annual Solar And Wind Additions
It's hard to underestimate the importance of solar and wind in the net zero equation. It is mainly the expansion of wind and solar that triples renewables generation by 2030 - and it increases more than eight-fold by 2050. The share of renewables in total electricity generation globally increases from 29% in 2020 to over 60% in 2030 and nearly 90% by 2050.
03: 2030s: All New Buildings Are Zero-Carbon-Ready
Energy‐related building codes are introduced in all regions by 2030 to ensure that virtually all new buildings constructed are zero‐carbon‐ready. Minimum energy performance standards and replacement schemes for low‐efficiency appliances are introduced or strengthened and by the
mid‐2030s, nearly all household appliances sold worldwide are as efficient as the most efficient models
02: 2020s: A Decade Of Massive Clean Energy Expansion
Policies should be strengthened to speed the deployment of clean and efficient energy technologies. Mandates and standards are vital to driving consumer spending and industry investment into the most efficient technologies. Targets and competitive auctions for wind and solar can accelerate the electricity sector transition.
01: 2020s: No New Oil or Gas Fields Approved for Development
The fossil fuel clampdown is tightening: the report states there should be no new oil and gas fields approved for development and no new coal mines or mine extensions. The unwavering policy focus on climate change in the net zero pathway results in a sharp decline in fossil fuel demand, meaning that the focus for oil and gas producers switches entirely to output – and emissions reductions – from the operation of existing assets.
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