The International Energy Agency has released a special report showing the pathway towards net-zero emissions by 2050. It is clear that the pledges made today by governments across the globe are not nearly enough to limit the average temperature increase to 1.5°C. The roadmap identifies more than 400 milestones to follow the path towards net-zero emissions with affordable and just energy access.
Among the milestones, heat pumps are pointed out as playing a very important role. It states that in 2045, at least 50% of the heating demand has to be met by heat pumps. In terms of numbers, the increase in the scope of heat pumps installed has to be massive: from 180 million units in 2020 to 600 million in 2030 and 1800 million units in 2050. Specifically, looking at light industries, the picture follows the same pattern. Emissions need to decline by 95% until 2050, and heat pumps are critical to achieve that target. Every month, 500 MW of heat pumps must be deployed globally during the next 30 years.
If followed, the pathway will result in a clean, dynamic and resilient energy economy dominated by renewables. There are, of course, other measures than installing heat pumps, e.g., no investments in new fossil fuel projects, no sales of new combustion engine cars after 2035, and no sales of fossil fuel boilers from 2025. More uncertain factors such as bioenergy, carbon capture and behavioral changes are also examined.
Until 2030, current technologies can achieve most of the emission reductions. However, until 2050, almost half of the reductions will come from technologies that have yet to be developed. This requires governments to take action.
The full report is available for free on the IEA’s website, along with an online interactive that highlights some of the key milestones in the pathway that must be achieved in the next three decades to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Read the press release from IEA and the full report here >
Read the full text in the HPT Magazine here >