I recently listened to a DNV-GL podcast entitled “Accelerating the Energy Transition”. In brief, they posit that the problems we have around us can be solved by technology and, based on current plans, it will be possible to deliver a version of the energy transition within a generation (that is, the fossil to non-fossil ratio reaching 50:50 in 30 years, from the current 80:20).
However, even though action is underway, the podcast goes on to say that it will not be enough to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement. Only by accelerating current efforts can those targets be met:
- Scaling of existing and new technology coupled with wider and deeper policies will deliver.
- Energy efficiency gains through electrification, powered by renewables (wind, solar) working hand-in-hand with natural gas are a key component.
- Evidence dictates that the cost of technology falls by 10-20% for every doubling of capacity, which will allow the cost per kWh to come down.
- Digitalisation is also a key enabler for the transition, allowing control of the grid, from shifting power in time using storage to improving the visibility of supply and demand.
The accelerated version required can also be delivered cost effectively. It requires immediate action, stronger policies, more renewables to close the gap and better management of the resources we have. CCS is also required not only for combustion, but for other areas in industry including chemical processes. Scaling new and existing technology and implementing this faster will help to deliver the required acceleration.