A new study published in the journal Natural energy discovered that electricity could become the cheapest source of energy by 2050, fundamentally shifting the current share of energy use from climate-damaging fossil fuels to renewable sources of electricity.
Today, 80% of the energy needs of industry, heating of buildings and mobility are met by the combustion of fossil fuels, and only 20% by electricity.
“Our research reveals that this relationship can be roughly reversed by 2050, making electricity easy to decarbonize the mainstay of the world’s energy supply,” said lead study author Gunnar Luderer, researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). and professor of analysis of global energy systems at the Technical University of Berlin.
While for a long time fossil fuels were much cheaper and more accessible sources of energy than electricity, prices for solar electricity have fallen by 80% over the past decade.
âThis development has the potential to fundamentally revolutionize energy systems. Our computer simulations show that with global carbon pricing, green electricity can become the cheapest form of energy by 2050 and provide up to three-quarters of all demand, âLuderer explained.
The reason for this significant drop in prices lies in the revolutionary technological advancements in solar and wind power generation, as well as the fact that more and more energy demands can be electrified, including cars, systems heating or steel production.
âOverall, we find that more than half of all industry energy demand can be electrified by 2050,â said study co-author Silvia Maddu, PIK researcher.
According to scientists, this increased use of electricity as an energy source will be crucial in mitigating climate change and maintaining sustainable temperature values. However, reducing the use of fossil fuels remains very important to achieving these goals.
âThe era of electricity will come anyway. But only radical regulation of fossil fuels in all sectors and regions of the world – especially some form of carbon pricing – can ensure that this happens in time to reach 1.5 degrees, âLuderer said.
In order to achieve the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement, decisive and global political coordination in carbon pricing, the elimination of taxes on electricity, the expansion of network infrastructure and the overhaul of the markets of the electricity are urgently needed.
âIf these elements come together, the prospects for a green energy future based on renewable energies look truly electrifying,â Luderer concluded.
Through Andrei Ionescu, Terre.com Editor-in-chief