The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), a coalition of more than 45 leaders from global energy producers, energy industries, financial institutions and environmental advocates – including ArcelorMittal, Bank of America, BP, Development Research Center of the State Council of China, EBRD, HSBC, Iberdrola, Ørsted, Shell, Tata Group, Volvo Group and the World Resources Institute among others – released two new reports analysing the feasibility of achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) economy by 2050 and the actions required in the next decade to put this target within reach.

The report Making Clean Electrification Possible: 30 years to electrify the global economy sets out why it is essential but also feasible and affordable to multiply the size of the global power system by 5, while shifting to renewable-based electricity provision. The parallel report Making the Hydrogen Economy Possible: Accelerating clean hydrogen in an electrified economy sets out the complementary role for clean hydrogen and how a combination of private-sector collaboration and policy support can drive the initial ramp up of clean hydrogen production and use to reach 50 million tonnes by 2030.

According to the report, electricity could represent up to 70 per cent of final energy demand by 2050, versus 20 per cent today, with total electricity use expected to grow as much as 5 times in the coming decades. Furthermore, a net zero GHG emissions economy by mid-century will likely need to use about 500 to 800 million tonnes of clean hydrogen per annum, a 5-7 fold increase compared to hydrogen use today.