Energy Blue Print
Archive 2010

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

heat and cooling supply

Development of renewables in the heat supply sector raises different issues. Today, renewables provide 24% of global primary energy demand for heat supply, the main contribution coming from the use of biomass. The lack of district heating networks is a severe structural barrier to the large scale utilisation of geothermal and solar thermal energy. Past experience shows that it is easier to implement effective support instruments in the grid-connected electricity sector than in the heat market, with its multitude of different actors. Dedicated support instruments are required to ensure a dynamic development. In the Energy [R]evolution scenario, renewables provide more than 71% of global heating demand by 2050. The main elements of this shift are:

  • Energy efficiency measures can decrease the current per capita demand for heat supply by 24% in spite of improving living standards.
  • For direct heating, solar collectors, biomass/biogas as well as geothermal energy will increasingly substitute for fossil fuel-fired systems.
  • A shift from coal and oil to natural gas in the remaining conventional applications will lead to a further reduction in CO2 emissions.

In the Energy [R]evolution scenario 49, 357PJ/a is saved by 2050, or 24% compared to the Reference scenario. The advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario introduces renewable heating systems around five years ahead of the basic scenario. Solar collectors and geothermal heating systems achieve economies of scale via ambitious support programmes five to ten years earlier, resulting in a renewables share of 49% by 2030 and 91% by 2050.