We are not meeting Paris Convention ambitions; there is a short window of opportunity to close the gap.
Unfortunately, renewable energy currently often supplements rather than fully replace thermal power generation. By 2030, global energy-related CO2 emissions are likely to be only about 10% lower than 2019 emissions, and by 2050 only 45% lower. This is in sharp contrast to ambitions to halve GHG emissions by 2030 and to achieve the net zero emissions by 2050 required to limit global warming to 1.5˚C.
As CO2 emissions continue to accumulate, the window of opportunity to act narrows every year. Relying on large scale net-negative emissions technologies and carbon removal in the latter half of the century is a dangerous, high-risk approach. With global warming, every fraction of a degree is important, and all options to reduce emissions need urgent realization.
Electrification is surging even stronger ahead, and renewables will outcompete all other power sources. Electrification is by far the most dynamic element of the energy transition. The share of electricity in final global energy demand is set to double from 19% to 38% within the next 30 years.
Solar PV and wind are already the cheapest form of new power almost everywhere, and within a decade will also be cheaper than operating existing thermal power in most places. By 2050, solar and wind will represent 70% of grid-connected power generation, and fossil power just 13%. Connectivity, storage, and demand-response will be critical assets in the decarbonized power system.
On the demand side, passenger and commercial EV uptake is rising quickly in Europe, China, Korea, Japan and US, cost reductions and technology improvements in both batteries and charging infrastructure will drive a rapid expansion.