What will it take to reach 80% renewables by 2050? Statkraft—Europe's largest generator of renewable energy—shares three shifts that are critical to the energy transition.
Can the world reduce the use of fossil fuels quickly enough to avoid severe climate change? Renewable energy will have to be a key part of the solution. Statkraft’s estimates indicate that it is possible for renewable energy to contribute 80 percent of the world’s power supply by 2050. Reaching this level will certainly not be straightforward. Leaders around the world must take immediate and deliberate action to steer away from our current reliance on coal, gas, and oil. Three changes will be instrumental in this process.
Stop believing that renewables are expensive. One of the primary arguments used against converting to renewable energy has been the cost. But the cost of renewables is dropping, as is the cost of integrating renewables in the power system. Cheaper and better batteries will provide important flexibility. Digitalisation enables active management of renewable electricity generation, storage, and consumption. Power systems dominated by renewable energy are both technically and economically realistic.
Embrace electrification. Most renewable energy technologies provide electricity. Increasing the use of electricity will be necessary to unleash the potential of renewable energy and reduce demand for fossil fuels. Electricity will allow renewable energy to fuel our cars, heat our homes, and power our industry.
Cooperate more. Cooperation is obviously important for countries to agree on emission reduction targets and achieve a fair distribution of the costs associated with reducing emissions. But international cooperation is also necessary in the energy field. International power systems and power markets will make it easier to manage variations in renewable energy output. And continuous research and technology development that is needed to reduce costs and increase environmental performance of renewable energy systems.
By integrating these three factors into our lives and into our organisations, we can reach our goals and realise a thriving, low-carbon world.
At this year's World Climate Summit - The Investment COP in Madrid, Spain, Statkraft President and CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen will share insight into the future of decarbonised energy. Statkraft will also present the possibilities of renewable energy in a separate workshop during the event.