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Net-Zero Comes With Insane $215 Trillion Price Tag

The world would need as much as $215 trillion in cumulative investments to achieve a fully decarbonized global energy system by 2050, research provider BloombergNEF (BNEF) said in a report on Tuesday.

This investment would be 19% higher than an estimated $181 trillion price tag in an Economic Transition Scenario (ETS), in which the energy transition is driven by economics and where the Paris Agreement goals are missed and global warming reaches 2.6 degrees Celsius, according to BloombergNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2024.  

Investment must accelerate and existing technologies urgently deployed en masse if the world stands a chance of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, BNEF said.  

“On the energy supply side, for every dollar that goes to fossil fuels, an average of $3 needs to be invested in low-carbon energy over the remainder of the decade – up from parity today,” the authors of the report wrote.

BNEF’s Net-Zero Scenario (NZS), “which is consistent with a 67% chance of holding global warming to 1.75 degrees Celsius, sees demand for oil, gas and coal reach an immediate peak and fall into a steep decline starting from the year 2025,” the researchers note.

So far, there has been no indication from the demand side globally that demand for oil, natural gas, and coal will peak next year.

Even the International Energy Agency (IEA), a vocal proponent of net-zero efforts and the energy transition in recent years, sees in its monthly oil market reports rising global oil demand this year and next year.

“The path to staying well below two degrees is narrowing,” said David Hostert, head of economics and modeling at BNEF and the lead author of the report.

“In the 18 months since we last updated our global scenarios, the energy transition has certainly accelerated – but not nearly enough. This report should serve as a wake-up call: we need a rapid decline in emissions starting from now – not in five years’ time – if net zero by mid-century is to remain a possibility.”

BNEF’s report also notes that the world needs to double the length of the grid networks and investments in transmission and distribution should outpace those on renewable energy generation to have net-zero within reach. Investments needed in grids are around $24.1 trillion, while estimated investments in renewable energy are about $22.7 trillion in BNEF’s NZS modeling.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 21 2024 said:
    This is the costliest myth in history and also one of the biggest lies in history. Both global energy transition and net-zero emissions aren't only myths, they are also the most disastrous myths that could inflict the greatest damage on the global economy and leave it bankrupt. You only need to look at the state of the EU economy to get a taste of what to come if this mad notion was allowed to go ahead.

    Luckily such a notion will never ever see the light of day.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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