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Statkraft’s 2021 “Low Emissions Scenario” calls for renewed urgency

Norwegian hydropower giant and Europe’s largest renewable energy generator, Statkraft, has published its annual “Low Emissions Scenario”, which describes investment in green projects as “unstoppable”, while calling for a dramatic scaling up for renewables, electrification and green hydrogen.

Statkraft has been publishing its annual “Low Emissions Scenario” for six consecutive years, and the report now holds a certain cachet among energy market analysts and forecasters looking at the lead up to 2050, and not only because it is generally optimistic. 

One of the biggest predictions made in the 2021 report, published this week, is that the falling costs of renewable energy technologies, combined with stronger climate policies, “will result in carbon emissions in line with a 2°C pathway. Stopping global warming at 1.5°C, however, will require a substantial increase in both political ambition and pace of global action.” 

And yet, that “2°C pathway” still requires more than twice as much solar and wind installation every year up to 2050. 

“The world has been called to arms,” says Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, “to work in unison to slow the warming of our planet. It’s the mission of a lifetime, one that will define our generation. With the world slowly re-opening, so too are emissions returning to pre-pandemic levels, reinforcing our belief that the only way towards a 1.5-degree path is through the energy transition.” 

Green investment and solar uptake 

Despite the economic hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, Statkraft saw green investment increase by 7% in 2020, a result of the fact that renewable energies are already cheaper than fossil fuels when it comes to new capacity in most markets. “In general, for one euro invested in solar PV and wind today you get around four times the output compared to what you did ten years ago.” 

For that reason, Statkraft predicts that between now and 2050, solar capacity will grow by a factor of 21, and wind by a factor of seven. By 2050, solar will meet approximately two-thirds of global energy demand. And the world will need it, considering power demand is set to more than double in the same period.

Statkraft’s forecast compared to other major predictors.
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Statkraft’s forecast compared to other major predictors. Image: Statkraft

 

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Source: pv magazine