Full Title: Global Energy Outlook 2023: Sowing the Seeds of an Energy Transition
Author(s): Daniel Raimi, Yuqi Zhu, Richard G. Newell, Brian C. Prest, and Aaron Bergman
Publisher(s): Resources for the Future
Publication Date: March 28, 2023
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Recent policy developments in the United States, increased ambition in the European Union, and efforts by other nations are sowing the seeds of an energy transition. Although coal, oil, and gas consumption are at or near their all-time highs globally, climate ambition and action are growing in public and private sectors. How quickly, and at what scale, will these seeds bear fruit?
Global energy additions have continued, rebounding from the lows of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, global coal demand roughly equaled its previous peak, and preliminary 2022 data from IEA show it reaching an all-time high. Oil and natural gas demand remain at or near their all-time global highs. Clean energy technologies are seeing record levels of investment. This trend will need to accelerate if the world is to have any chance of limiting global mean temperature rise to 1.5°C or 2°C by 2100. Under scenarios that achieve these climate targets, wind and solar together produce more electricity in 2050 than all of global electricity generation in 2021.
The United States passed major federal climate legislation, but questions about implementation remain. The US subsidy-based approach is projected to reduce emissions, but the speed and scale of reductions will depend on noncost barriers, such as local acceptance of energy infrastructure and state and local permitting processes.