Rystad: 1.5-degree warming is possible, but will require extraordinary effort

Jul 01 2022

Rystad Energy’s extraordinary market note from CEO Jarand Rystad concludes that 1.5-degree warming is possible, but will require extraordinary, unprecedented effort from the entire energy sector.

In the first half of 2022, Covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have collectively dealt a vicious blow to the global economy, precipitously raised geopolitical risks, exposed dependencies, and reshuffled the priorities of nations and industries.

Given all these fundamental changes, is there still hope of limiting global warming to the 1.5-degree target? The answer is yes, but achieving it will require an extraordinary effort by energy companies in all corners of the globe.

The road to success starts with decarbonizing the all-important power sector. I expect that electricity’s share of the energy carrier segment will soar from 20% at present to 60% by 2050. To achieve this, the single most important requirement is that the annual deployment of new solar PV capacity climbs to about 1400 GW per year by 2035.

Rapid growth of wind power, in-grid battery parks and hydrogen production are other requirements – and our supply chain analysis shows that this will be a tough challenge, but not an impossible one.

Decarbonizing transport is yet another driver. For the slightly less ambitious 1.6-degree scenario, our model shows that more than 70% of car sales must be electric by 2030 – and the world is on presently on track with that trajectory.
For the building sector, decarbonization will be driven by the rapid growth of rooftop solar (PV and hot water) and heat pumps, and the current pace is promising.

The planet also needs to achieve large scale decarbonization of the industrial sector. This will happen through a combination of electrification, hydrogen-switching, CCUS and reduced primary energy consumption through a shift towards secondary sourcing of raw materials.

Analysis shows that the CCUS segment is finally taking off and could grow from a few million tonnes per year at present to 475 Mt by 2030, before accelerating to 3,600 Mt by 2040 and 7,800 Mt by 2050. 

In short, net zero in carbon dioxide could be reached between 2055 and 2075 with technologies already identified, and with new innovations representing an upside.This would limit global warming to between 1.6 and 1.8 degrees, assuming status quo on other GHG emissions. 

However, we believe that significant reductions of methane and nitrous oxide also can be achieved. This, together with faster reduction of deforestation, represents an upside of between 0.2 and 0.3 degrees. In aggregate, therefore, we should still be optimistic that the 1.5-degree target is within reach.

Rystad Energy

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Issue 87 - May - June 2022

CCUS in EMEA: EU awards over €1bn .. Mix of all low carbon tech could save EU €80bn .. 1000km CO2 transport network in Germany .. TotalEnergies’ "3D" Carbon Capture Pilot begins Carbon removals needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C .. CCSA: UK nee.....