Dismantling Global Energy Flows

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Rethink energy’s new report entitled Annual Primary Electricity (APE 2.0) outlines how the granular, sector-by-sector approach to decarbonization across the globe will redefine not only how energy is traded, but who stands to benefit from the adoption of clean technologies as power demand triples over the coming decades? … Rethink anticipates that by 2050, 92% of power will come from net zero sources, up from 41% today.

In the race to net zero, all energy will be electrified over the next few decades, aided by a radical uplift in global renewable capacity. Advanced economies rapidly decarbonizing and emerging economies with high population growth will drive power production to triple by 2050 (80,416 TWh per year).

As companies and governments are increasingly held to account over their decarbonization efforts, sectors from steelmaking to shipping will see fuel sources shifted towards electricity.

On the domestic front, the rapid adoption of electric vehicles, heat pumps, and electric cooking appliances will not only decarbonize but also make economic sense to everyday citizens.

As “green” hydrogen from renewable sources overtakes “grey” hydrogen in the late 2020s, the shift to hydrogen as a fuel source will become irresistible to the outlined sectors where direct electrification is inefficient or unfeasible. Its use across feedstocks, transport, and industry will see over one-third of all electricity used to produce hydrogen by 2050.

The report contains this dire warning for the laggards: As solar-plus-storage in particular continues to plummet in price to provide undisrupted power, even the cheapest natural gas plants will become stranded assets in the early 2030s, making any investment in new coal or gas an inexcusable waste of money. Companies that fail to see this will go bankrupt, as will oil companies that fail to transition as oil demand peaks in the late 2020s, as electric vehicles dominate all global markets.

Current events in Europe have shown the need for independence from the historic suppliers of fossil fuels and will accelerate the movement towards domestic independence and reliance on home grown renewables.

“APE2.0 provides a genuine assessment of the energy transition, without pandering to the huge number of grey-haired laggards in the sector,” says Rethink Energy analyst Harry Morgan and lead author of Annual Primary Electricity (APE2.0).

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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