How can we achieve deep decarbonization while satisfying the conditions for continued economic growth and development and growing prosperity? CO2 energy related emissions are approximately 32 gigaton today, and in order to achieve the 2 degree limit, they need to get down to approximately 11 gigaton by 2050, while world population and GDP grow massively in that period. How can we decouple population and GDP growth and energy consumption and CO2 emissions? CO2 emissions can be expressed as the product of four inputs: population, GDP per capita, energy use per unit of GDP (energy intensity), and CO2 emission per unit of energy (carbon intensity). We can reduce emission through energy efficiency and energy conservation measure in all the energy end use sectors: passenger transportation and freight transport, residential and commercial buildings, and industry, and examples are given for each. Energy efficiency is the technical improvement of products and processes and energy conservation includes profound structural and behavioral changes that lead to lower levels of energy consumed per unit of GDP. The objective of deep decarbonization is the replacement of the uncontrolled fossil fuel with renewable energy source such as hydropower, wind power, solar power, and geothermal energy. Fuel switching means switching end use energy supplies from highly carbon intensive fossil fuels in transportation, industry, etc. to lower carbon fuels. Deep decarbonization rests on three pillars: energy efficiency and conservation measures, production of low carbon electricity, and fuel switching from high to low carbon energy carriers. Electricity plays a pivotal role in decarbonization. This video is part of the module The Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems.
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