“Zero-car­bon power, though hugely im­por­tant, is in­suf­fi­cient, be­cause elec­tric­ity cur­rently ac­counts for only 20% of global en­ergy con­sump­tion”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

in­vest­ment needs to be matched by ac­cel­er­ated progress in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy, or by other tools to match elec­tric­ity de­mand to intermittent sup­ply. But there is no doubt that, by mid-cen­tury, the world can build a cost-ef­fec­tive zero-car­bon elec­tric­ity sys­tem.

And yet zero-car­bon power, though hugely im­por­tant, is in­suf­fi­cient, be­cause elec­tric­ity cur­rently ac­counts for only 20% of global en­ergy con­sump­tion. Broader changes to the global en­ergy sys­tem are needed.

Road trans­port and avi­a­tion, which cur­rently rely al­most en­tirely on liq­uid fos­sil fu­els, ac­count for 30% of to­tal en­ergy con­sump­tion. De­car­bon­i­sa­tion of th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties will re­quire ei­ther elec­tri­fi­ca­tion or the use of hy­dro­gen or bio­fu­els. This is cer­tainly fea­si­ble, but it will take time.

Heat­ing build­ings is an­other area where ma­jor changes are needed. Here, the more wide­spread use of zero-car­bon elec­tric­ity, in­stead of fos­sil-fuel-based en­ergy, could have a ma­jor im­pact. But there are also im­por­tant op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­sign and con­struct build­ings and cities that are sub­stan­tially more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient. With the world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion ex­pected to in­crease by 2.5 bil­lion by 2050, it is vi­tal that we grasp them.

En­ergy use by heavy in­dus­try en­ergy, how­ever, presents

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