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About accelerating energy transition through innovation

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To meet the goals set by the United Nations and those set by the Paris agreement and the Green Deal, a fundamental transformation of the energy sector is inevitable. In this presentation we will take a look at the role on innovation in the energy transition. For the purpose of this presentation, we will focus on technical innovations, however, innovations in energy transition include many other areas, such as economic innovations, business innovations, etc.

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Im this presentation we will take a look at the role on innovation in the energy transition. For the purpose of this presentation, we will focus on technical innovations, however, innovations in energy transition include many other areas, such as economic innovations, business innovations, etc. The information in this presentation is taken from a publication called Accelerating the Energy Transition through Innovation, written by The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. We developed the content of this presentation with the expert support by dr. Agatino Nicita from the Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “Nicola Giordano” (ITAE) of the National Research Council (CNR), the NEWCOMERS project consortium partner. 2. CENTRAL PART – CONTENT The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 7 stresses the importance og ensuring universal access to modern energy by 2030, imporving enegry efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy sources. To meet these goals and those set by the Paris agreement and the Green deal, a fundamental transformation of the energy sector is inevitable. If you want to learn more about the Paris agreement, click on the presentation seen on the slide. But what does this transformation actually mean? The transformation of the energy system from a unsustainable to a more sustainable one is called energy transition. IRENA defines energy transition as the pathway for transforming the global energy sector from fossil-based to zero carbon by the second half of this century. Clear goals and objectives are crucial, as well as stable policies and regulations, that provide sufficient access to low-cost capital. To reduce the financial, as well as any other costs of these changes, innovations have to be implemented. What is innovation? Innovation is one of the key factors in the decarbonisation of the energy sector. Its is defined in its core as the application of new technologies and practices with enhanced desirable future. When we talk about innovation, we often think about new technological developments. These technological breakthroughs play a great role in the transition, providing low-carbon solutions to sectors, where currently there is no cost-effective alternatives to conventional technologies. However, for these technologies to be incorporated in the everyday use, our social, economic, political and other environments have to change and adapt to them. For this to succeed, innovations have to be made in other fields as well, such as new business models and engagement of new actors across energy systems, new types of financing and enabling policy and regulatory innovations. Energy communities are an example of an innovation in many senses – business model, economic, social as well as including new technological in infrastructural developments. They are also a prime example of new innovation in energy transition, that need policy and regulatory support in order to succeed. In this presentation, we will take a closer look at the technologial innovations driving energy transition and those, that still need to be developed. As you can see on the graph of the abatement potential, renewable energy can account for 45 % of the CO2 reduction, while energy efficiency can privde 32 % by 2050. This reduction would suffice to limit the global temperature change to less that 2 degrees. All sectors must contribute When we talk about energy transition, we are not talking only about the power sector and their decarbonisation, but also other sectors. The electricity sector and industry, two largest CO2 emitting sectors are resposible for about 65 % of all emissions. The remaining 35 % come from transport, buidlings and district heating. Their abatement potential is shown on the slide. The industry and transport sectors have shown to be the most challenging to transform. It is expected that the tranposrtation emissions would be halved, while in the future, industry would be the highed emitter. Renewable energy in the heart of the transition Renewable energy now accounts for 24 % of global power generation and 16 % of primary energy supply. To achieve decarbonisation, the report finds that, by 2050, renewables should be 80 % of power generation and 65 % of total primary energy supply. As we've mentioned before, the use for renewable energy needs to go beyond the power sector. It has to be included in transportation with electrical vehicles, the buildings need to become high efficient electric buildings, the use of heat pumps must grow etc. The technological gap We've talked about the technologies that mst be implemented to achieve energy transition, howver, depsite a large number of technologies already developed, there are many areas and sectors, where technologies haven't been developed yet or are not cost effective enough. There are some areas, where no viable options exist now, such as iron and steel making, maritime transport, aviation, chemical and petrochemical production etc. Other sectors already have the technologies, but their performance neeeds to be imporved and cost reduced. An example of this is the transportation sector, with electric personal vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. System reliability of an energy mix with a high share of variable renewables also needs to be developed and thought out. If you want to learn into more detail about technology and energy tranisiton, read the publication linked below.

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