The EU has set a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. But getting there will be a huge challenge that will require a transformation of our energy system.
The European Commission’s energy roadmap 2050, published in 2011, listed some fundamental changes that need to happen in order to bring Europe towards a low-carbon energy system.
The Norwegian energy company Statoil has put together projections for 2030 and 2050, based on three scenarios for how the world will develop – one optimistic (Renewal), one pessimistic (Rivalry) and one baseline scenario (Reform).
Global energy demand: Continued growth
In all three scenarios, more people are becoming part of the middle class, economic growth continues, and hence the underlying global demand for products, services, and activities that require energy increases, albeit at different paces.
Energy efficiency: Drastic improvement needed
“In order to have any chance of reducing CO2 emissions to sustainable levels, the one most important factor is that we have to become significantly more energy efficient than we are today.” – Eric Waerness, chief economist, Statoil.
Energy mix: Gradually moving towards renewables
In a scenario that is consistent with the 2°C target, oil reduces its share from 31 to 23%, while gas remains at around 20%.
“Regardless of scenario, and in addition to massive investments in renewable energy, we will continue to need large investments in oil and gas due to natural decline in supply from existing fields.” – Statoil Energy Perspectives 2017.
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