According to a new study by the International Energy Agency, the world’s demand for fossil fuels will reach its highest point by the end of the decade, even if no new federal climate policies are implemented before 2030.
Demand for coal, oil, and natural gas is expected to peak within the next decade, according to a report released on Tuesday. This is due to the fast global implementation of important technologies such as renewable power, electric cars, and heat pumps.
According to the IEA, this means there is no need for any big new oil or gas extraction projects anywhere in the world, as well as no need for any new coal mines, mine extensions, or unlimited coal plants.
“If the world is successful in bringing down fossil demand quickly enough to reach net zero emissions by 2050, new projects would face major commercial risks,” stated the IEA.
The report’s authors, however, stressed the importance of additional action amid the transition if the world is to achieve the 1.5-degree Celsius warming limit that was settled on at the Paris climate summit in 2015.
The IEA noted that maintaining a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible, but limited options are available to achieve it. The IEA noted that maintaining a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible, but fewer options are available to achieve it.
Investment in clean energy is expected to reach a record US$1.8 trillion in 2023, but the IEA pointed out that this must rise to US$4.5 trillion by the early 2030s in order to reach net zero by 2050.
“The energy sector is changing faster than many people think, but more needs to be done and time is short,” according to the report.
The IEA has also said that boosting renewable energy production, increasing energy efficiency, decreasing methane emissions, and increasing electrification are all important for countries to meet global climate commitments.
During the energy transition, the IEA advises against harmful price spikes or supply shortages by keeping investment in current oil and gas assets and already approved fossil fuel projects. However, large investments in new oil production are not required.
Governments are encouraged to “build big” in the IEA report. The IEA’s net-zero plan requires an annual increase in electricity transmission and distribution grid length of about two million kilometres, however, the organization said that building systems today can take over 10 years to complete.
“We need massive growth of battery energy storage and demand response; expanded, modernized grids; and more dispatchable low-emission capacity, including fossil fuel capacity with CCUS, hydropower, biomass, nuclear, hydrogen, and ammonia-based plants.”
However, the study warns that if major progress is not made by 2035, a greater temperature increase will happen, requiring the use of carbon removal technology in the second half of this century.
“Removing carbon from the atmosphere is costly and uncertain,” added the IEA. “We must do everything possible to stop putting it there in the first place.”