Cost degression in photovoltaics, wind-power and battery storage has been faster than previously anticipated. In the future, climate policy to limit global warming to 1.5–2 °C will make carbon-based fuels increasingly scarce and expensive. Here we show that further progress in solar- and wind-power technology along with carbon pricing to reach the Paris Climate targets could make electricity cheaper than carbon-based fuels. In combination with demand-side innovation, for instance in e-mobility and heat pumps, this is likely to induce a fundamental transformation of energy systems towards a dominance of electricity-based end uses. In a 1.5 °C scenario with limited availability of bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal, electricity could account for 66% of final energy by mid-century, three times the current levels and substantially higher than in previous climate policy scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The lower production of bioenergy in our high-electrification scenarios markedly reduces energy-related land and water requirements.

Nature Energy, Vol. 7

Gunnar Luderer, Silvia Madeddu, Leon Merfort, Falko Ueckerdt, Michaja Pehl, Robert Pietzcker, Marianna Rottoli, Felix Schreyer, Nico Bauer, Lavinia Baumstark, Christoph Bertram, Alois Dirnaichner, Florian Humpenöder, Antoine Levesque, Alexander Popp, Renato Rodrigues, Jessica Strefler & Elmar KrieglerLink de acesso: