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The urgency of climate action has never been more palpable. As the world stares at the dire consequences of global warming, keeping global temperature increases below 1.5°C has become paramount. Achieving this requires a major shift in our energy paradigm.

Here’s a closer look at the roadmap:

1. Boosting Renewable Energy

The energy landscape needs a drastic transformation. While renewable energy currently comprises 17-18% of our energy mix, this needs to soar to 80% to align with the 1.5°C target. The onus is on not just renewable electricity and electrification, but also end-use renewables, biofuels, and the promising green hydrogen. Electrification paves the way for more energy-efficient consumption, contributing to reduce energy intensity.

2. Affordable Renewable Power

Today, renewables have emerged as the most cost-effective form of electricity generation. Solar and wind alone are projected to account for two-thirds of this. To meet the 1.5°C goal, direct electricity use in our energy system must climb from the current 20% to over 50% by 2050.

3. The Role of Electrification Technologies

Electrification technologies are not future promises; they’re present solutions. Technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps, and electric cooking are available today and ready for large-scale deployment. By 2030, a considerable expansion is imperative. As renewables become the most economical electricity source in numerous markets, there’s a clear call to integrate electrification with clean electricity infrastructure.

4. The Imperative of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is no longer just an advantage; it’s a necessity. To meet our climate goals, the rate of energy intensity improvement needs to leap from the current 1.2-1.8% to an ambitious 3% annually.

5. Green Hydrogen: The Fuel of the Future

Green hydrogen is gaining traction, especially in sectors like industry and shipping where decarbonisation is challenging. Most of the hydrogen scale-up will happen between the periods of 2030-2050. However, the foundation for this change, from end-use technologies to infrastructure, must be laid immediately.

6. Addressing Unavoidable CO2 Emissions

By 2050, not all energy-related CO2 emissions can be negated. Solutions like carbon capture and storage (CCS), carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct-air capture, and reforestation can fill this gap.

A holistic approach is crucial for the energy transition, one that encompasses renewable energy, energy efficiency, technological advancements, infrastructural developments, and behavioral shifts. Investment patterns need to be reoriented from fossil fuels towards sustainable energy solutions.

Recent analysis by IRENA illustrates that a mix of renewables, electrification, hydrogen, and energy efficiency can account for 80% of the required CO2 reductions to steer the globe towards a 1.5°C pathway.

Closing Thoughts

The journey to a 1.5°C future is filled with challenges, but with firms like Firstgreen Consulting leading the charge in renewable energy consultation, the path becomes clearer. Through comprehensive services and cutting-edge research, Firstgreen is not only promoting the adoption of renewable energy but also ensuring businesses make this transition seamlessly. As we stand at this pivotal juncture, initiatives like these will play a critical role in shaping a sustainable future for all.