Good question. Who is afraid of 100%? And more importantly, why?
The fear towards this ambitious goal has festered from the worry that 100% is “unnecessary, infeasible and too expensive”.
No one is ignoring the fact there will be challenges facing this ambitious goal but, as Jurgen Weiss (Principal at The Brattle Group) highlighted, the above statement is 'likely incorrect and very questionable'.
In an attempt to undo the damage that has been done, the goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 is quickly becoming the consensus decarbonisation target across many global key players. But with more people demanding 100% renewable energy or net zero emissions by 2050 we are challenged to consider is 80% enough?
A 100% carbon-free energy supply for electricity, buildings, transportation and the industrial sector is likely to support an 80% economy wide decarbonisation by 2050, taking into consideration the lag from other sectors which are harder and more expensive to decarbonise such as agriculture.
“Ironically, a lower-cost outcome is more likely if we commit to a 100% rather than just 80% carbon-free electricity sector. Committing to 100% will provide additional certainty for innovations and cost reductions, such that the dispatchable carbon-free solutions will become available in time to decarbonize the last 20-30% of our electricity supply.”
When looking at electrification, operating 100% carbon free is certainly feasible as our ability to operate an electricity system has dramatically improved over the past couple of decades. Achieving this 80% economy-wide decarbonisation goal will almost certainly require a shift towards electric cars and electric heating which in turn could potentially provide significant cost savings for consumers.
Attempts towards achieving this goal have also been aided by an emerging range of clean energy alternatives including hydro, biomass and geothermal. With ambitious goals, comes more challenges, and these energy alternatives are paving the way to address some of the major issues and the large demand for clean energy is now being met with exciting new technologies.
We are continuing to see more and more innovative companies emerging with alternative technology that can assist on this journey and here at Hyperion we are lucky to partner with these companies and help drive this transition towards clean energy and the adoption of e-mobility.
We are certainly not afraid of 100! Instead, we are optimistic that 100% renewable power is feasible and affordable if we ‘keep out foot on the clean energy accelerator’ and that is exactly what Hyperion intend to do!
The bottom line is that, given all the progress we are likely to make, we likely will be able to reduce the cost of a significant portion of our energy consumption.