Many energy experts and climate scientists question whether it is feasible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by century’s end. Today, the world’s preeminent energy institution offered a rebuttal. In a 227-page report, the International Energy Agency said it is possible to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and limit warming to 1.5 C. But it will require a wholesale makeover of the world’s energy system starting today. Dramatic action is required in the next decade to have any hope achieving a net-zero goal by 2050, IEA said. Where electric vehicles now account for 5% of global automobile sales, they will need to represent 60% of new automobile purchases in 2030. Annual renewable installations, which hit a record 280 gigawatts last year, will need to exceed 1,000 GW. And energy efficiency improvements will need to grow by 4% annually, roughly three times their current rate.
Scientific American 18th May 2021 read more »
How can the world get to net zero emissions by 2050? The IEA has mapped out a route
FT 21st May 2021 read more »
Mark Jacobson: We have 95 percent of the technologies we need today and the know-how to get the rest to address both energy and non-energy emissions. As such, no miracle technology, particularly carbon capture, direct air capture, modern bioenergy or modern nuclear power, is needed. By implementing only clean, renewable WWS energy and storage and implementing non-energy strategies, we will address not only climate, but also the 7 million annual air pollution deaths worldwide and energy insecurity. None of the “miracle technologies” addresses all three. We and 17 other research groups have shown that we can do it with renewables alone worldwide and in the 50 United States. Such a transition reduces energy costs, and land requirements while creating jobs. The key is to deploy, deploy, deploy existing clean, renewable, safe technologies as fast as possible. U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry recently stated, “I am told by scientists that 50 percent of the reductions we have to make to get to net zero are going to come from technologies that we don’t yet have.” This comment echoes recent statements by Bill Gates that solar, wind and batteries are not enough, so we need “miracle technologies” to decarbonize our global economy. They also mimic statements in a 2021 International Energy Agency report that, “in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration or prototype phase.” One might argue that, in all three cases, “new technologies” means improved existing technologies, such as improved batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, etc. However, hidden in the recent U.S. economic revitalization proposal is a call to fund CO2 capture and storage, CO2 direct air capture and small modular nuclear reactors. Similarly, Gates has funded and argued for these technologies plus modern bioenergy, and the IEA report explicitly proposes the use of all four technologies for a decarbonized world. Ironically, the IEA acknowledges, “all the technologies needed to achieve the necessary deep cuts in global emissions by 2030 already exist.” But astonishingly, they then say that those technologies and their improvements are not enough to reach 2050 goals.
The Hill 20th May 2021 read more »