February 4, 2023

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- Highly needed - E24

– Highly needed – E24

The transportation sector needs large amounts of energy to reduce emissions, according to a recent report by the Norwegian Environment Agency. There is no doubt that a great deal of new renewable energy is required if we are to reach climate targets, says Director Ellen Hambro.

An enormous amount of energy will be required for the transport sector to be able to contribute to Norway’s climate goals, according to Norwegian Environment Agency Director Ellen Hambro. Here is a view of a report from the United Nations Climate Panel earlier this year.
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in climate law Parliament has enacted legislation to reduce climate emissions by 90-95 percent by 2050. This requires extensive measures, many of which require large amounts of electricity.

E24 previously discussed the possibility of a sharp increase in energy demand in industry and the oil industry in the future, among others linked to climate measures and new industry such as battery plants.

The Norwegian Environment Agency has now calculated how much electricity the transport sector will need in 2050 if Norway is to meet its climate targets. Then fossil energy must be phased out in cars, trucks, buses, trains, railroads, planes, freight, agricultural and construction machinery.

– We need about 60 terawatt-hours of new energy for transport, if we adopt the traffic development contained in the national transport plan, says Director of the Norwegian Environment Agency Ellen Hambro to E24.

It would take a lot of energy for electric transmission, but it would also take a lot of energy to produce alternative fuels like hydrogen and ammonia, she said.

These figures come from the latest report, Energy Needs for Transport – Zero Emissions Scenarios for 2050. The Norwegian Environment Agency prepared the report to contribute to the knowledge base on climate policy, says Hambro.

– We will become a low emission society with 90-95 percent lower emissions by 2050, and then it is important to look at the glass ball. This will require nearly zero emissions from the transportation sector, and we’ve looked at what’s required in terms of energy to get there, she says.

This is how the Norwegian Environment Agency assumes that electricity consumption related to the transport sector will change from 2019 to 2030 and 2050, in two different scenarios. The growth scenario assumes the same growth in transportation demand as the National Transportation Plan, while the zero growth scenario assumes transportation levels are stalled from the 2019 level.

A lot of new renewable energy is required

Total electricity consumption in Norway is currently 140 TWh (TWh) per year, so an extra 60 TWh is a significant increase. In addition, the Norwegian Environment Agency estimated in a previous report that 24 TWh of electricity is needed for climate measures in industry and the oil sector by 2030.

There is no doubt that a great deal of new renewable energy is required if we are to reach climate goals, says Hambro.

– But it is also important to stress that our estimates are based on the growth projections of the National Transportation Plan. She adds that the need for energy will decrease if we can limit the increase in transportation needs.

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– Very bad time

The report from the Norwegian Environment Agency posits that Norway will be able to implement a number of key changes in order to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to near zero in 2050.

  • All aircraft on the short-haul network are electric
  • Hydrogen-powered long-range aircraft
  • 100 percent electric cars, buses and trucks
  • Construction, agriculture, and shipping are replacing fossil energy with, among other things, electricity, hydrogen, and synthetic fuels

– We made some assumptions. It is possible that the distribution of energy vectors could be different, but what we determine is most likely now. Aviation will not rely so much on electricity, and this is where hydrogen, synthetic fuels and biofuels will become more important, while we assume that rail and road transportation will be 100 percent electric, says Hambro.

Is it realistic to implement what you decided to do?

– I have to assume that we will achieve our climate goals. The entire world must move towards net zero in 2050, says the United Nations Climate Panel, if we are to meet the goals. Norway and the European Union have passed legislation to become a low-emissions society by 2050. We must advance the technology and put solutions in place. The need is extreme, says Hambro, and we have very little time.

This is how the Norwegian Environment Agency assumes that overall energy use in transport will change from 2019 to 2030 and 2050, in two different scenarios. The growth scenario assumes the same growth in transportation demand as the National Transportation Plan, while the zero growth scenario assumes that transportation levels are stalled from the 2019 level. Total energy consumption will fall in particular because electric motors are more efficient than fossil fuel-powered ones.

Energy shortages until 2030

In a previous report, the Norwegian Environment Agency estimated that 24 TWh of electricity was needed for climate measures in industry and the oil sector by 2030. The latest report says an additional 15 TWh of electricity was needed for the transportation sector.

In order to reach climate targets, industry, transport and oil will consume an additional 39 TWh of electricity in 2030. This is more than double Norway’s energy surplus in a normal year, and will likely require new energy developments and more efficient use of energy, the directorate says.

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“It’s pretty clear that we have an urgent need to make energy use more efficient and build more renewable energy quickly,” says Hambro.

– It was controversial, even that do not apply With a large amount of new energy, especially wind power, in the first place?

The government has big plans to build offshore wind power, but it will take time. So we hope that happens as soon as possible. Then there are opportunities to expand wind and solar energy on land, says Hambro.

This is how the Norwegian Environment Agency envisions energy use in 2050 for different parts of the transport sector.

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The need to take measures

In the long term, Norway has big plans to produce electricity from offshore wind, which will be able to contribute significant amounts of electricity. There are also opportunities to build more solar and wind power on land and upgrade hydroelectric plants.

But in the short term to 2030, the industry fears the possibility of an energy deficit. E24 previously reported that electricity demand is increasing sharply, while production is expected to increase to a much lesser extent. Statnett now expects Norway to run an energy deficit from 2027, from a surplus of about 15 TWh per year today.

– If the government gets 30 gigawatts of offshore wind built by 2040, that would probably equate to 120 TWh a year. So does it look more promising by 2040?

– You will. If we can develop offshore wind energy to the extent that the government wants, it will be able to cover a large portion of the energy needs we describe in the transportation, industrial and oil sectors,” says Hambro.

– Measures are needed to curb the growth in transportation demand to reduce the need for energy. There is a huge gain from reducing the volume of transport, and then you also reduce encroachment on nature, emissions from road construction and building over swamps, as well as environmental problems such as noise and air pollution, says the head of the Norwegian Environment Agency. .

This is the percentage of different fuels assumed by the Norwegian Environment Agency in 2050.

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