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The transition to net zero calls for steep cuts in the emission of CO2 over the next three decades, starting today. For the energy sector, the required changes are especially significant. 

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The Road to Net Zero

The production of electricity and heat from fossil fuels is the largest generator of carbon emissions today, but the energy sector is already offering a range of proven technological solutions to the carbon reduction challenge.

Now it needs to dramatically accelerate the deployment of those technologies. Under the IEA Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, for example, the energy sector would become slightly net negative by 2040, ten years before the rest of the economy approaches net zero.

Global net CO2 emissions in net zero emissions by 2050 scenario (nze) and 1.5°c scenarios.

Supplying an Energy-Hungry World

That deployment will take place against a background of continued high growth, and an increasingly affluent, global population will continue to put upward pressure on demand. Total energy demand in 2050 will be around 95,000TWh, only 17% lower than the 2020 level.

From Atoms to Electrons

The way that energy is delivered to the end-user is set to undergo a profound shift. In 2020, electricity accounted for 20 percent of total global energy consumption. By 2050, it will make up 49 percent of the energy mix, becoming the dominant energy carrier thereafter.

This transition will be driven by multiple factors, including the higher overall energy efficiency of electric machines, and the growing role of electricity generated by renewable energy technologies.

Hyperscale Renewables

Replacing today’s fossil fuel infrastructure with renewable energy will require development at an unprecedented scale. The world will need more than 8,000GW of wind power capacity in 2050, for example. That’s roughly equal to today’s total global electricity generation capacity from all sources and more than ten times the size of today’s wind energy industry.

The 2050 requirement for solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is more than 14,000GW: almost twice today’s total generation capacity from all sources and a twenty-fold in increase solar power from 2020.

Supply Chain Matters

Compared to their fossil fuel counterparts, renewable energy assets are larger, more diverse, and more decentralized. To realize its ambitions, the energy sector requires significant new logistics capabilities. The energy revolution will be a technical, financial, and social challenge, but it will also depend upon radical supply chain innovation.

If you enjoy reading this short blog, you will definitely enjoy reading the latest Logistics of the Energy Revolution White Paper.  Please see below to download your copy today. 

Logistics of the Energy Revolution

Logistics has an ever-growing role to play, both enabling and supporting the energy revolution.

A key feature of this will be the need of advanced logistics capabilities, competencies, skills and experience at unprecedented scale in the energy sector.