The amount of electricity capacity we need in a world reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is anywhere between four and nearly eight times more than what we have today, according to BloombergNEF.
The above chart shows total global electricity system size, categorized by three different scenarios BloombergNEF modeled that stipulates different primary energy sources for the world’s overall (not just electricity) energy mix.
Renewables, led by wind and solar, are actually the dominant electricity source in all three scenarios, underscoring the importance of building out wind and solar farms and their power lines.
In the scenarios labeled mostly renewables and mostly nuclear, hydrogen produced from these sources help reduce emissions in other sectors of the economy like manufacturing. In the third scenario, carbon capture is used both in power and in other energy sectors.