In a recently published annual report, Statkraft asserts that the robust growth of renewable energy sources will continue undeterred, even in the face of escalating geopolitical tensions. Statkraft, a major player in the renewable energy sector, unveiled its latest “Low Emissions Scenario” report, offering a comprehensive analysis of the drivers and consequences of the ongoing global energy transition through 2050.
The core assumption of this scenario is that market dynamics, policy incentives, and ongoing technological advancements will sustain the momentum of the clean energy revolution on a global scale. The energy-related emissions projected in the Low Emissions Scenario align with the emission pathways necessary to limit global warming to slightly below 2°C.
The report indicates that the reduction of emissions can primarily be achieved through the large-scale deployment of existing, competitive clean technologies. Notably, solar and wind power, grid sustainability, and electric vehicles take the center stage in this vision of a cleaner energy future.
Solar power emerges as the frontrunner in the global push for renewable energy in this scenario. The report underscores the substantial cost reductions in wind and solar power, batteries, and electric vehicles over the past decade. These cost declines have made clean technologies economically attractive when compared to their fossil fuel counterparts.
Recent disruptions in the global markets and mounting geopolitical tensions have placed a renewed emphasis on energy security on the international stage. This has, in turn, intensified the push for renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures on the policy agenda.
In this Low Emissions Scenario, the report envisions solar energy growing 22-fold and wind energy growing 12-fold by 2050, compared to their present capacities.
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft, stated, “Despite increased geopolitical unrest and rivalry, renewable energy growth remains strong and won't stop or reverse. The cost of wind and solar power, batteries, and electric vehicles have dropped significantly over the last decade, resulting in them replacing fossil fuels. Energy security has also become a top priority on the international agenda, resulting in an increased policy push for renewables.”
The report also explores alternative scenarios, including the “Clean Tech Rivalry” scenario, which imagines global powerhouses like the United States, European Union, and China engaging in a subsidy-driven and protectionist competition within clean energy supply chains. Another scenario, “Delayed Transition,” postulates that immediate challenges such as high inflation, rising living costs, national security concerns, and social unrest might hinder climate action.
Rynning-Tønnesen emphasized the importance of today's choices and their long-term impacts on the energy transition, urging global collaboration and trade as essential elements in a cost-effective and successful transition to cleaner energy sources. The report provides a vital perspective on the ongoing energy transition and the potential hurdles and opportunities that lie ahead.