Energy council chief declares current global energy system “unfit for purpose”

The council’s latest report indicates that by 2050, approximately half of the worldwide energy system is projected to remain non-electrified. This outcome would pose a significant challenge to numerous governments’ commitments to achieving net-zero emissions.

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World Energy Council CEO Angela Wilkinson has expressed concern over the current state of the world’s energy system, stating that it is no longer suitable for its intended purpose. She highlighted the lack of progress in the planned transition towards green energy as a contributing factor.

Wilkinson made these remarks during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday, referring to the Energy Pulse reports produced by her organization. These reports provide insights into the latest trends within the energy ecosystem.

According to the latest report from the council, it is projected that approximately half of the global energy system will remain non-electrified by 2050. This outcome would deal a significant blow to the net-zero commitments made by many governments.

“The primary worry among energy leaders is that the pace of change is insufficient to meet the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement,” stated the report. It also highlighted that 64% of global energy leaders share these concerns.

Under the 2015 Paris climate accord, nations worldwide agreed to restrict global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, and strive to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The sluggish progress of the intended energy transition can be attributed to pre-existing strains on energy capacities and security, according to Wilkinson.

Furthermore, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, global energy markets have faced a series of challenges. These include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe’s choice to reduce its reliance on Russian hydrocarbons, and the imminent threat of a global recession. As a result, energy markets and the global system as a whole are delicately navigating a precarious situation.

Wilkinson expressed our goal of expanding and constructing an energy system that is twice the size to cater to the increasing demand. Simultaneously, we aim to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy system at an unprecedented pace.

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