LONDON: The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), an international think tank, has released two new reports saying a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy within the next 30 years is technically and financially feasible.
The report ‘Making Clean Electrification Possible: 30 years to electrify the global economy’, says it is essential, feasible and affordable to multiply the size of the global power system by five while shifting to renewable-based electricity provision.
Investments in renewable power, primarily wind and solar, will represent about 80 percent of total investments required to achieve a net-zero economy. Over US$80 trillion will be needed globally over the next 30 years for investment in renewable generation to support both direct and indirect electrification and electricity grid infrastructure.
The complementary study, ‘Making the Hydrogen Economy Possible: Accelerating clean hydrogen in an electrified economy’, sets out the role for clean hydrogen and how a combination of private-sector collaboration and policy support could produce and use 50 million tonnes by 2030.
Clean hydrogen will be used in sectors where electrification is likely to be technologically very challenging or prohibitively expensive such as decarbonising steel production and long-distance marine shipping, says the study.
A net zero GHG emissions economy by mid-century will use about 500 to 800 million tonnes of clean hydrogen per annum, a five to seven fold increase from today.
In addition, US$2.4 trillion, or US$80 billion per annum, will be required between now and 2050 for hydrogen production facilities, transportation and storage.
“We now have the technologies to completely decarbonise electricity generation at low cost: and electrification is the key to zero carbon production in most of the economy," said ETC chairman Lord Adair Turner. “By mid-century even rich developed countries will need two to three times as much electricity as today, and developing economies five to 10 times as much.
"Governments, businesses and investors need to recognise the scale of the new industrial revolution required and the huge opportunities it creates,” he added.
The ETC is a coalition of global energy producers, energy industries, financial institutions and environmental advocates including ArcelorMittal, Bank of America, BP, Development Research Center of the State Council of China, EBRD, HSBC, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Shell, Longi Solar, Tata Group, Volvo Group and the World Resources Institute.
Story Type: News