Paths to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050


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By The Interchange: Energy Conversations From GTM and Greentech Media. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Net-zero commitments went mainstream in 2020. There are now 22 regions, 452 cities, and over 1,100 companies with revenues over $11 trillion that have pledged to bring emissions to net zero by middle of the century.

In 2021 we’re going to spend a lot of time working backward from that. We’ll be trying to understand the pathways to get to net zero and what it means for today — for the technology and business of decarbonization.

That brings us to this week’s guest: Jesse Jenkins, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. He’s a well-known expert energy-systems modeler.

Last month Jesse and a team of colleagues at Princeton came out with a massive study called Net-Zero America that examines five pathways for the U.S. to decarbonize the entire economy.

Even without reading the report, you can probably guess some of the headlines: More renewables. More transmission. Electrify transportation. Carbon capture and carbon removal. But there are some other conclusions that are less obvious.

As more and more renewables come online, how will biomass, fossil fuels and hydrogen will fit into the multiple pathways to transition? We also examine the chicken-and-the-egg problem of CO2 transportation and CO2 conversion. And we ask: How much are these massive transition scenarios going to cost, and who’s paying?

The Interchange is brought to you by the Yale Program in Financing and Deploying Clean Energy. Through this online program, Yale University is training working professionals in clean energy policy, finance, and technology, accelerating the deployment of clean energy worldwide, and mitigating climate change. To connect with Yale expertise, grow your professional network, and deepen your impact, apply before March 14, 2021.

We're also brought to you by Nextracker. Nextracker is building connected power plants of the future by integrating new solar technologies, storage and advanced control software. At the end of the show, we’ll feature part 3 of our series on the future of solar technologies with Nextracker CEO and industry veteran Dan Shugar.

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