International Energy Agency Net Zero Roadmap Sees Carbon Capture Reaching Needed Capacity

IEA Updated Net Zero Roadmap Sees Carbon Capture Reaching Its Net Zero Capacity - Carbon Herald
Image: Dilok Klaisataporn/Shutterstock

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released on Tuesday, Sept 26th the 2023 updated edition of its Net Zero Roadmap that aims to set out a pathway to a net zero world by 2050. The latest edition takes into account key developments that have occurred since 2021.

The Roadmap is divided into different economic sectors that take part in the green energy transition. In the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage sector, IEA sees that if all announced CO2 capture capacity is realized and the current growth trend continues, global carbon capture capacity could reach over 1 gigaton of CO2 annually by 2030 or the capacity foreseen in the net zero scenario by 2050. 

Image: iea.org

The analysis points out that reducing project lead times, particularly related to the development of CO2 storage, will be critical to achieving those levels. Total CO2 captured is seen reaching over 6 gigatons of CO2 by 2050 with more than 3.7 gigatons/ CO2 annually coming from CO2 capture from fossil fuels and industrial processes.

CO2 capture from direct air capture technologies is expected to grow from around 80 million tons per year in 2030 to over 1 gigaton in 2050. CO2 removal capacity is seen to stand at 1.7 gigatons annually by 2050 to keep the 1.5 ̊C global warming target within reach. Additionally, two-thirds of total CO2 capture from all technologies is expected to happen in emerging markets and developing economies.

In terms of low emissions sources of electricity, IEA foresees renewables capacity to triple by 2030 led by solar PV and wind, complemented by growth in nuclear and other sources. In 2022, the share of low-emissions sources in electricity generation reached the staggering 39% marking a milestone in the world’s efforts to phase out fossil fuels. In 2030, that share is seen to reach 71%, and nearly 100% in 2050.

By 2050, a 97% reduction in fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions is projected in order to reach net zero, with the total fossil fuel supply dropping from 511 EJ to 88 EJ. The largest drop in energy supply comes from coal, followed by oil and natural gas. Almost 80% of fossil fuel demand in 2050 would be for non-combustion applications or used with carbon capture and storage.

Read more: IEA Publishes A Report On Carbon Management

Article originally published on September 26. Last update on September 29.

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