15 April, 2019

Transformation points - Achieving the speed and scale required for full decarbonisation


Yannick Monschauer, Thibaud Lemercier, Yvonne Deng, Lisa Luna, Niklas Höhne, Robert Brecha, Jasmin Cantzler, Gaurav Ganti, Michiel Schaeffer, Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter

A view of the 146MW PV plant built in Atacama desert by EDF Group.

Staying within the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C temperature limit requires rapid, large-scale systemic transformations to fully decarbonise the global energy system by 2050.

Transformations of the speed and scale required have occurred historically when systems reached a transformation point: the moment when a previously novel technology, behaviour or market model achieved critical mass, took off, and rapidly became the new normal. Policy action concerning these transformation points is key to kick-starting a rapid and wide-ranging transformation.

This analysis looks into how different policy actions, at various stages of the technological adoption process, can influence uptake of the many key decarbonisation technologies needed for the future.