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Statkraft releases report on global energy trends and scenarios for 2050

03 Nov, 2023

The report provides valuable insights for policymakers, investors, businesses and consumers keen to understand the opportunities and challenges of the low-carbon future

Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy and present in 21 countries globally, has published its annual Low Emissions Scenario report, which analyses the drivers and impacts of the global energy transition up to 2050. The scenario, developed by Statkraft’s more than 50 experts and analysts assumes that markets, policies and technological development continues to drive the clean energy transition globally. The energy-related emissions in the Low Emissions Scenario are consistent with emission pathways limiting global warming to just below 2 °C.

“Statkraft’s Low Emissions Scenario shows that the world can cut emissions mainly by deploying existing competitive clean technologies at scale, such as solar and wind power, grid sustainability, and electric vehicles. A deep decarbonisation, including strong emission reductions also in sectors that are hard to abate can be achieved towards 2050. This requires strong political will, technological progress and well-functioning markets. Statkraft is committed to playing a leading role in accelerating the transition to a low carbon future,” says Rynning-Tønnesen. 

However, the report also recognises that there are uncertainties and risks that could delay the transition or make it more costly. The report therefore features two additional scenarios for the first time, exploring how geopolitical tensions and regional rivalries could affect the pace and scope of the energy transition. 

The Clean Tech Rivalry scenario assumes that global powerhouses such as the US, EU, and China engage in a subsidy-fuelled and protectionist competition in clean energy supply chains. The Delayed Transition scenario assumes that imminent challenges such as high inflation and costs of living, national security, and social unrest lead to more near-sightedness and reduced climate action.
“It is important that we are mindful of the choices we make today and how they will affect the energy transition. The negative impacts of bickering and delays are high. Global collaboration and trade are key elements in a cost-effective and successful energy transition,” says Rynning-Tønnesen. 

He adds: “Statkraft is investing heavily in expanding our renewable generation capacity, developing new solutions for grid integration and flexibility, and providing green power to customers across sectors and regions. Our Low Emissions Scenario report is part of our contribution to advancing the knowledge and dialogue on the global energy trends and scenarios that will shape our future.” 

The main findings of the report are:

  • Energy-related emissions in the Low Emissions Scenario decline by 69 percent by 2050 compared to today’s levels and follow a pathway that limits global warming to below 2 °C representing a pace that is somewhat faster and more profound than projected in last year’s report
  • Competitive clean technologies and energy security agenda drive decarbonisation in the Low Emissions Scenario. Solar power stands out as the global frontrunner in the Low Emissions Scenario. The costs of wind and solar power, batteries and electric vehicles have dropped significantly over the last decade, making clean technologies economically attractive compared to fossil counterparts. In addition, the recent market turmoil and increased geopolitical tension have put energy security high on the agenda internationally, resulting in an increased policy push for renewables and energy efficiency. In the Low Emissions Scenario, solar grow 22 times while wind grows 12 times to 2050, compared to today’s levels  
  • Cost-efficient wind and solar replace fossil fuels in all three scenarios, and even in the least optimistic scenario, wind and solar grow substantially towards 2050 compared to today’s levels
  • Europe is a climate frontrunner in all scenarios, but to reach near-term emission targets, access to critical components of the clean supply chain and regional collaboration is necessary. Wind and solar are the main technologies in the power mix, even in the least climate-optimistic scenario  

The report provides valuable insights for policymakers, investors, businesses and consumers keen to understand the opportunities and challenges of the low-carbon future. Read the report.


Gary Connor
Media Relations Manager, Statkraft UK