In August 2019 International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA launched a new report Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050.
Electrification is emerging as a key solution for reducing emissions but only if paired with clean electricity, which increasingly can be sourced at the lowest cost from renewable energy. The share of electricity in total energy use must increase to almost 50% by 2050, up from 20% today. Renewables would then make up two-thirds of energy consumption and 86% of power generation. Renewable electricity paired with deep electrification could reduce CO2 emissions by 60%, representing the largest share of the reductions necessary in the energy sector.
Fortunately, this shift is also a path of opportunity. It would enable faster economic growth, create more jobs, and improve overall social welfare. Reducing human healthcare costs, environmental damages and subsidies would bring annual savings by 2050 of between three and seven times the additional annual costs of the transition. By 2050, the energy transformation would provide a 2.5% improvement in GDP and a 0.2% increase in global employment, compared to business as usual.
The world’s choices today will be crucial to reaching a sustainable energy and climate safe future. The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement create the framework for the coordination and further acceleration of global efforts to advance the energy transformation.
The full text of the report is available at: https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Apr/Global-energy-transformation-A-roadmap-to-2050-2019Edition