Clean energy technology in the electricity, transportation, industrial and construction sectors will drive this change, as fossil fuel use in these sectors accounts for three-quarters of emissions. greenhouse effect globally. We will also need technologies to reduce emissions from agriculture and deforestation as well as remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. However, most of these technologies come with what Bill Gates calls a high “green premium” — a measurement of the difference in cost between a clean alternative and a carbon-intensive alternative. In other words, clean energy technologies often have higher costs to use.
A 2021 study by Vivid Economics suggests that in a scenario with limited public and private funding for new technology research, development and commercialization, the green premium for some key technologies would remain too high by the end of the year. this decade. On the other hand, by accelerating innovation during this period, we could reduce the annual cost of the transition to net zero emissions by $2.5 trillion per year by 2050. And a process. Cheaper switching is a more palatable process for countries around the world.
So how do you speed up innovation? One way is to promise future customer needs. This gives innovators and investors the incentive to scale up unproven technologies and find ways to cut costs quickly in the process. Alliance of First Moverslaunched by President Joe Biden and John Kerry, the US President’s special envoy for climate (and my boss), along with the World Economic Forum, which includes more than 50 of the world’s largest companies, all have committed to purchase emerging climate technologies by 2030. These include clean fuels for decarbonizing transportation and aviation, decarbonized steel and aluminum, zero-emission trucks, and technologies. advanced to suck carbon out of the atmosphere.
This essay is part of the MIT Technology Review’s 2022 Innovators under 35 packages recognizes the most promising young people working in the technology sector today. See the full list here or discover the winners in this category below.