Net Zero by 2050 – Analysis

On the net-zero trajectory, global energy demand in 2050 is about 8% lower than it is today, but serves a twice as large economy of 2 billion people. More efficient use of energy, resource efficiency, and behavioral changes to offset increases in demand for energy services combine with the growth of the global economy and expanding access to energy for all.

Instead of fossil fuels, the energy sector is largely based on renewable energy. Two-thirds of the total energy supply in 2050 will come from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower. Solar energy becomes the largest source, accounting for a fifth of the energy supply. Solar PV capacity is increasing 20 times between now and 2050, and wind capacity 11 times.

Net zero means a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels. They are dropping from nearly four-fifths of total energy supply today to just over one-fifth by 2050. The remaining fossil fuels in 2050 are used in commodities where carbon is embedded in the product such as plastics, in facilities equipped with CCUS technology, and in industries where low emission technology options are scarce.

Electricity accounts for nearly 50% of total energy consumption in 2050. It plays a key role in all sectors – from transportation and buildings to industry – and is essential for the production of low-emission fuels such as hydrogen. To achieve this, total electricity generation increases two and a half times between today and 2050. At the same time, additional final investment decisions for new coal plants should not be taken relentlessly, as less efficient coal plants are put into operation. by 2030, and the remaining coal plants still in use will be modernized by 2040. By 2050, nearly 90% of electricity generation will come from renewable sources, with wind and solar PV together nearly 70%. Most of the rest comes from nuclear.

Emissions from industry, transportation and buildings are taking longer to reduce. Reducing industry emissions by 95% by 2050 includes major efforts to build new infrastructure. After rapid advances in innovation through research and development, demonstration and initial dissemination between now and 2030 to bring new clean technologies to market, the world has to put them into practice. Every month from 2030 onwards, ten heavy industrial plants are equipped with CCUS, three new hydrogen-based plants are being built, and a capacity of 2 GW of electrolyzer is being added at industrial sites. Policies to end sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 and promote electrification support the dramatic reduction in transportation emissions. In the year 2050, cars on roads around the world will run on electricity or fuel cells. Low emission fuels are essential where energy needs cannot be easily or economically met by electricity. For example, aviation depends largely on biofuels and synthetic fuels, and ammonia is vital for shipping. In buildings, a ban on new fossil fuel boilers should begin globally in 2025, driving sales of electric heat pumps. Most old buildings and all new buildings comply with the energy codes of carbon-neutral prefab buildings

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