Reducing carbon emissions from power sectors will only achieve one-third of global net-zero emissions targets, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday in a new report.
The Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 report states that a major effort to develop and deploy clean energy technology is required across global transport, buildings and industry sectors, among others. This “radical transformation,” alongside deployments in the power sector, is needed to realize the rapid and lasting decline in emissions called for by the world’s shared climate targets.
The IEA analyzed over 800 clean energy technologies to ascertain the requirements to meet net-zero emissions targets by 2070 and highlighted the increasing importance of electricity use in the transport, building and industry sectors, Kallanish Energy notes.
As of today, 55% of global carbon dioxide emissions result from these sectors and adopting renewable electricity would make the “single largest contribution to reaching net-zero emissions”, according to the report.
The report also found that the combined power sector and heavy industry sectors account for approximately 60% of emissions today from existing energy infrastructure. That share will rise to nearly 100% in 2050 if no action is taken to manage existing assets’ emissions, underscoring the need for the fast development of technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture.
The role of hydrogen is also set to play a prominent role in emissions reductions. Using electrolyzers to produce clean hydrogen, alongside large-scale development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), would significantly contribute to the reduced usage of coal, oil and natural gas in the future, the IEA noted.
“We need even more countries and businesses to get on board, we need to redouble efforts to bring energy access to all those who currently lack it, and we need to tackle emissions from the vast amounts of existing energy infrastructure in use worldwide that threaten to put our shared goals out of reach,” said IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol.
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