Policymakers Must Offer Clarity to Secure Net-zero

Net-zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net-zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.

Government must play a greater role in the global energy market, either through a direct stake or as a co-investor, to support the new emerging energy system, according to a new study by PwC.

The report, Inventing tomorrow’s energy system: The road ahead for molecules and electrons, finds that the growth in renewables, estimated to account for 90% of the global energy market by 2050, and scaling up of hydrogen, will lead to a greener but substantially more complex energy market.

Electrons produced by renewables are set to power factories, heat and cool buildings, fill up batteries that will capture power and become generators and, as electrification hits the transport sector, emerge as the major fuel for cars.

While hydrogen will link the electricity and gas markets, allowing for large-scale storage, powering of heavy-transport, and the massive decarbonisation of industrial power demand. Consequently, sectors such as Oil & Gas, Utilities, and Chemicals, which are currently sharply delineated, will begin to converge and form into integrated energy systems over the next decade.

This enormous shift in the global energy sector and the players within it, will require greater coordination and collaboration between government and the market to successfully work towards a greener future.

To meet global emissions targets, government and business must work together in new, and untested, ways to realise the full potential of renewables. Getting the energy transition right is not only critical from an environmental perspective, but also an economic one.

The report estimates that the cost of transforming the electricity networks in Europe alone will be at least USD$2 trillion over the next 30 years.

It also cites the International Renewable Energy Agency’s forecast that USD13 trillion is required to be spent on power transmission and distribution networks across the globe in the years to 2050.