A new analysis prepared by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and commissioned by Third Way and Breakthrough Energy looks at six emerging clean technologies in the U.S. that will play a crucial role in the energy transition.
The report examines electric vehicles (EVs), clean steel, low-carbon hydrogen, long-duration energy storage (LDES), direct air capture (DAC), and advanced small nuclear modular reactors.
By studying the value chain of each of these technologies, the report aims to identify high-value areas where the United States can achieve a competitive advantage on the global scene.
According to BCG, the priority value chain segments within these technologies will achieve a domestic market size of $9-10 trillion in total by 2050 and produce more than $300 billion in annual export opportunities in the U.S., create millions of new jobs and improve the country’s energy security.
One of the most mature among the technologies assessed, EVs has the potential to reach a domestic market of $7-8 trillion, and a global market of $25-30 in cumulative sales. EVs can play an important role in decarbonization, with the potential to abate 5-7 gigatons per year by 2050.
Clean Steel is estimated to reach 20,000 – 25,000 million metric tons cumulatively by 2050, which means a market of $10 – 15 trillion from global steel sales and a $400-480 million domestic market. Clean steel has the potential to bring down emissions by approximately 1 gigaton by 2050.
The demand for low-carbon hydrogen is estimated at 1-2 billion tons, with a SAM (serviceable available market) value of 3-4 trillion for H2 produced and a domestic market of $300-400 billion. Hydrogen can unlock as much as 3-5 gigatons per year in abatement potential by 2050.
LDES has a potential U.S. SAM value of 3-4 trillion by 2050 and a domestic market estimated at 1-1.2 trillion by 2050. LDES’s abatement potential was not quantified because its role in decarbonization comes from supporting the integration of renewables into a net-zero energy system..
The global DAC demand is estimated at about 3 gigatons, bringing 3 to 4 trillion in value. The domestic U.S. market was calculated at 1.9 gigatons per year. DAC has the potential to decrease emissions by 5 to 7 gigatons per year by mid-century.
About 180 to 220 GW of advanced nuclear SMRs are expected to be deployed by 2050 across the globe, representing $550 – 700 billion in capital expenditures deployed through 2050. Advanced nuclear SMRs can unlock as much as 0.5 gigatons per year in abatement potential by 2050.