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Journal Article

Impact of declining renewable energy costs on electrification in low-emission scenarios

Authors
/persons/resource/Gunnar.Luderer

Luderer,  Gunnar
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Silvia.Madeddu

Madeddu,  Silvia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/leon.merfort

Merfort,  Leon
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Falko.Ueckerdt

Ueckerdt,  Falko
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/michaja.pehl

Pehl,  Michaja
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Robert.Pietzcker

Pietzcker,  Robert C.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Rottoli

Rottoli,  Marianna
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Felix.Schreyer

Schreyer,  Felix
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Nicolas.Bauer

Bauer,  Nicolas
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/lavinia.baumstark

Baumstark,  Lavinia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Bertram

Bertram,  Christoph
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/dirnaichner

Dirnaichner,  Alois
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Florian.Humpenoeder

Humpenöder,  Florian
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Antoine.Levesque

Levesque,  Antoine
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Alexander.Popp

Popp,  Alexander
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/renato.rodrigues

Dias Bleasby Rodrigues,  Renato
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Jessica.Strefler

Strefler,  Jessica
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Elmar.Kriegler

Kriegler,  Elmar
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Fulltext (public)

26440oa.pdf
(Postprint), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)

26440_SupplementaryInfo.pdf
(Supplementary material), 2MB

Abstract
Cost degression in photovoltaics, wind-power and battery storage has been faster than previously anticipated. In the future, climate policy to limit global warming to 1.5–2 °C will make carbon-based fuels increasingly scarce and expensive. Here we show that further progress in solar- and wind-power technology along with carbon pricing to reach the Paris Climate targets could make electricity cheaper than carbon-based fuels. In combination with demand-side innovation, for instance in e-mobility and heat pumps, this is likely to induce a fundamental transformation of energy systems towards a dominance of electricity-based end uses. In a 1.5 °C scenario with limited availability of bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal, electricity could account for 66% of final energy by mid-century, three times the current levels and substantially higher than in previous climate policy scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The lower production of bioenergy in our high-electrification scenarios markedly reduces energy-related land and water requirements.