Carbon Impact Quarterly: Power producer, the keystone to a successful climate transition

11 March 2022

This content is for professional investors only as defined by the MiFID.

We are running out of time. According to a temperature analysis run by NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the average global temperature has increased by a little more than 1⁰C since 1880.

At the current rate of emissions, we could reach 1.5⁰C within 15 years.

In the wake of COP26, 118 countries have updated their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This is very much welcomed, as based on the assessment of Climate Action Tracker in April 2021, the NDCs as they stood at the time would only limit warming to around 2.4⁰C above pre industrial levels. On the positive side, the Sixth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century is still possible. It will require immediate, rapid, and economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions reductions, as well as the development of carbon capture technologies.

We know what to do. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the world must invest $4
trillion in clean energy annually. In 2021, just $775 billion was invested in renewables technologies globally.

A clean energy world cannot be achieved without a clean power sector to ensure production and distribution of it. Power producers together account for 40% of all fossil-related carbon emissions (Figure 1) and Electric Utilities in particular have a key role in the transition to net zero: the share of electricity in the global energy mix increases in every IEA scenario.

According to the latest IEA energy outlook, in order to reach net zero by 2050, almost two-thirds of the energy consumed must be electric. In absolute terms, this means that electricity generation will grow from 26,762 TWh in 2020 to more than 71,000 TWh in 2050 (figure 2).

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