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Sean Ratka's picture
Associate Programme Officer, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Currently focused on the roles of blockchain, AI and IoT in the renewable energy transition.

  • Member since 2020
  • 8 items added with 8,051 views
  • Oct 21, 2020

Limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5-degrees-C will require all sectors of the economy to reach zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions early in the second half of this century. A growing number of countries are committing to such net-zero-emission goals. There is general agreement that renewable energy and energy efficiency are the cornerstones of the energy transition and that renewable energy will provide the bulk of clean electricity in the decades to come.

The optimum trajectories, however, for the end-use sectors of buildings, transport and industry are less clear. That was the topic being explored in the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Innovation Week 2020 in the context of the agency’s role as the global energy transition accelerator.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2020

Important topics to weigh in on-- as much as we focus on clean generation, you're right that there's so much still untouched by the power sector and renewables alone can't do it. There's no single silver bullet-- and to play around with the idea of how multiple sectors need to make drastic action to truly limit warming I recommend checking out the En-ROADS model from MIT. Lots to learn and play with here:

Richard Brooks's picture
Richard Brooks on Oct 21, 2020

Thanks, Matt. I wasn't aware of the En-ROADS simulator from MIT. Pretty cool stuff. I was able to get the temperature rise to only 1.5C by 2100, but the parametric changes I made were extreme. This is going to be very challenging, if this model is reasonbly accurate.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2020

Yeah it's a really neat tool. I was lucky enough to chat with one of the Professors behind it a few weeks back, and he convincingly stands behind the science of it all. Obviously there is a degree of uncertainty, but that uncertainty is just as likely to fall on the side of more risk to less risk. 

He said he uses this tool when talking to Congressional leaders, industry CEOs, and more and when they ask 'what is the best way to decarbonize' he refuses to answer, rather has them work through the tool themselves. When people manipulate on their own and get invested, they are more likely to believe the results than just having an expert tell them what they should do. That's the theory at least-- but yeah one of the big evident takeaways is the obvious that there's no silver bullet, that action is needed (and soon) across many sectors, and it takes a whole lot of lever pulling to get where we need to be. 

Sean Ratka's picture
Sean Ratka on Oct 22, 2020

Hi Matt, thanks a lot for sharing. Will certainly check this out and share with colleagues.

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Oct 26, 2020

Yes, very cool model. Thanks.

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