“If, by transition, we mean that clean energy replaces fossil energy in absolute terms, the energy transition has not started yet,” says Helge Andre Martinsen, Senior Energy Analyst at the Norwegian bank DNB.
“Rather than an energy transition, we are witnessing an energy addition. We keep adding new energy to meet a growing demand,” says Martinsen.
As a keynote speaker at the Energy Conference in Kristiansand Tuesday, Martinsen presented figures and graphs depicting the continued rise of fossil fuels.
“Global consumption of coal has yet to peak. Demand for oil and gas is also rising. Massive growth in renewables does not cover growth in total energy use,” says Martinsen.
ENERGY MIX HAS TO CHANGE
World leaders have committed to a 1.5-degree temperature increase scenario, and to a net-zero emissions target for 2050. This calls for a rapid and significant change in the global energy mix. The share of oil, gas and coal needs to drop from the current 80 per cent to 20 per cent in 2050.
Martinsen pointed out that global CO2 emissions continue to grow, stating that “the peak of CO2 emissions is near, but we will see new all-time highs in 2023 and 2024.”
The world’s top 5 emitters of CO2 are China, US, India, Russia, and Japan – representing 60 per cent of total CO2 emissions.
On the positive side, clean energy investments are on the rise and currently 50 per cent higher that fossil fuel investments. Growth in clean energy investments is dominated by a few countries and regions, in particular China, EU, and the US.
“The massive ongoing ramp-up of solar productions capacity is mainly driven by China. Based on access to metals needed for renewable energy production – most are controlled by China – we are perhaps facing more of a red transition than a green transition,” suggested Martinsen.
150 people attended the well-established energy conference which featured former diplomat Kai Eide as the main speaker. Other keynote speakers included Pål Rasmussen (Gassco) and Liv Monica Stubholt (Law Firm Selmer), who discussed Norwegian gas exports to Europe. Norway exports gas equivalent to 1,200 TWh of energy, which is eight times higher than the Norwegian output of renewable hydropower, wind and solar energy.
A closing session on competence featured Are Tomasgard (LO), Øystein Eriksen Søreide (Abelia), Anna Gunningberg (Trainee Sør), and Lars Erik Torjusen (Noroff).