DNV GL today published a new report outlining how the energy transition can be accelerated through the rapid uptake of renewable energy to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The recent coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the resilience of renewable energy sources, demonstrating the maturity of this generation form. By 2050, DNV GL forecasts that 66% of the world’s electricity will be generated from renewable energy sources. Thanks to the continuously decreasing cost of energy for onshore and offshore wind projects. And the availability of lower cost and more efficient solar modules, combined with advanced energy storage solutions, DNV GL predicts another significant rise in renewables deployment this decade.
However, although a promising prospect, this will not be enough to meet the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming well below 2°C by 2050.
The report “Transition Faster Together: Renewable solutions, strategies and policies for a clean energy future”, outlines focus areas where concentrated efforts can enable the large-scale uptake of renewable energy.
These focus areas include:
1. Technologies: Wind, solar and, to some extent, energy storage have become mature and cost-competitive. As we enter the next phase of the energy transition, the expansion and evolution of these technologies is critical. Consequently, the development and adoption of floating renewables and next-generation battery storage technologies need to be accelerated. Equally, emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and digitalization need to be scaled-up and integrated effectively into the power system.
2. New business models: System operators, utilities and electricity market regulators must provide greater focus on how the increasing volume of renewable energy is to be integrated efficiently while maintaining high levels of grid reliability for consumers. Solutions will include the development of new business models to grow the role of the prosumer. Allowing energy users to play an active role in the energy transition and enabling dynamic balancing of the supply and demand of green power.
3. Policies and regulations: The current regulatory environment is fragmented. Making it difficult to implement infrastructure investments with long-term payback. The relaxation of local restrictions and support for renewable energy projects are urgently needed. As countries and governments are looking for dynamic solutions in the post-corona landscape. Additionally, policies are required that provide predictable costs which favour investment in renewable energy by reducing risk and increasing rewards. Including carbon tax or cap and trade system which fund subsidies for green energy projects.
4. Investment: Solar and wind power generation has demonstrated that it can reliably supply a larger proportion of energy demand. Economic stimulus programmes built around the proven resilience of renewable energy provide opportunity to further accelerate the expansion. As they strengthen local labour markets and deliver high returns for international investors and financial institutions.
Ditlev Engel, CEO at DNV GL – Energy said: “We know we need to change the forecast to prevent a rise in the average global temperature to 2.4°C above pre-industrial levels. To do so, we must transition to a clean energy future faster, much faster. Although there is no silver bullet, there are steps that governments, businesses and society can take. Innovation is thriving and can deliver change at a rapid pace. But we need a combination of measures with technology, business models, policy and investment all working together to move towards a low-carbon future.’