The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a report on the Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector. The report sets out the IEAs view of a pathway for reducing global carbon emissions and limiting average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees centigrade. See below for a summary of the main points from the report:

  1. Policies need to be strengthened to speed the deployment of clean and efficient technologies 
  • The technologies needed to make deep cuts to global emissions by 2030 already exist, but policies are needed to drive them forward.
  • This requires new standards and targets, competitive auctions to accelerate renewables, fossil fuel subsidy phase outs and market reforms to disincentivise certain technologies, such as unabated gas and coal plant.
  1. Net zero by 2050 hinges on an unprecedented clean technology and innovation push to 2030
  • Government R&D spending needs to be increased and reprioritised. Critical areas such as electrification, hydrogen, bioenergy and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) today receive only around one‐third of the level of public R&D funding of the more established low‐carbon electricity generation and energy efficiency technologies. 
  • Around USD 90 billion of public money needs to be mobilised globally as soon as possible to complete a portfolio of demonstration projects before 2030. Currently, only roughly  USD 25 billion is budgeted for that period.
  1. The transition to net zero is for and about people
  • The IEA estimates the creation of 14 million jobs created by 2030
  • Spending on more efficient appliances, electric and fuel cell vehicles, and building  retrofits and energy‐efficient construction would require a further 16 million workers.
  • In the IEA’s pathway, around 5 million jobs are lost.
  1. An energy sector dominated by renewables
  • In the IEA’s net zero pathway, global energy demand in 2050 is around 8% smaller than today, but it serves an economy more than twice as big and a population with 2 billion more people.
  • Two‐thirds of total energy supply in 2050 is from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and hydro energy. Solar becomes the largest source, accounting for one‐fifth of energy supplies. Solar PV capacity increases 20‐fold between now and 2050, and wind power 11‐fold.
  • Electricity accounts for almost 50% of total energy consumption in 2050. To achieve this, total electricity generation increases over two‐and‐a‐half‐times between today and 2050.
  • The least efficient coal plants are phased out by 2030, and the remaining coal plants still in use by 2040 are retrofitted.
  • By 2050, almost 90% of electricity generation comes from  renewable sources, with wind and solar PV together accounting for nearly 70%. Most of the remainder comes from nuclear.
  1. Emissions from industry, transport and buildings take longer to reduce
  • Cutting industrial emissions by 95% by 2050 involves major efforts to build new infrastructure.
  • Every month from 2030 onwards, ten heavy industrial plants are equipped with CCUS, three new hydrogen‐based industrial plants are built, and 2 GW of electrolyser capacity are added at industrial sites.
  • Policies that end sales of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035 and boost electrification underpin the massive reduction in transport emissions.
  1. No need for investment in fossil fuel supply, greater investment in clean energy infrastructure
  • Beyond  projects  already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and  gas  fields approved for development in the IEA’s pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required.
  • Unabated coal demand declines by 90% to just 1% of total energy use in 2050. Gas demand declines by 55% to 1,750 billion cubic metres and oil declines by 75% to 24 million barrels per day (mb/d), from around 90 mb/d in 2020. Clean electricity generation, network infrastructure and end‐use sectors are key areas for increased investment.
  • Annual investment in transmission and distribution grids expands from USD 260 billion today to USD 820 billion in 2030.
  • The number of public charging points for EVs rises from around 1 million today to 40 million in 2030, requiring annual investment of almost USD 90 billion in 2030.
  • Annual battery production for EVs leaps from 160 gigawatt‐ hours (GWh) today to 6 600 GWh in 2030 – the equivalent of adding almost 20 gigafactories each year for the next ten years.
  • The required roll‐out of hydrogen and CCUS after 2030 means laying  the  groundwork now: annual investment in CO2 pipelines and hydrogen‐enabling infrastructure increases from USD 1 billion today to around USD 40 billion in 2030.
  1. An unparalleled clean energy investment boom lifts global economic growth  
  • Total annual energy investment surges to USD 5 trillion by 2030, adding an extra  0.4 percentage point a year to annual global GDP growth. 
  • The jump in private and government spending creates millions of jobs in clean energy, including energy efficiency, as well as in the engineering, manufacturing and construction industries. All of this puts global GDP 4% higher in 2030 than it would be based on current trends.