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Enabling low-carbon end-use


Enabling low-carbon end-use

Increased energy efficiency, electrification and power sector decarbonisation


The industry, building (including residential and services sub-sector) and transport sectors account for a great majority of final energy consumption. To achieve ETP 2012’s 2°C Scenario (2DS), which gives the world an 80% chance of keeping average global temperature rise below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, these sectors must couple increase use of decarbonised electricity as well as improve energy efficiency, cutting their own total CO2 emissions by more than 20% before 2050, even as the power sector reduces its emissions by 80%.

  • The 2DS calls for the building sector to reduce total CO2 emissions by more than 60% by 2050. Because buildings can stand for more than 100 years, actions cannot be limited to tighter controls on new construction, but must also include existing stock.
  • Total energy savings in the buildings sector in the 2DS, compared to the 4DS, amounts to 33 EJ in 2050. About 70% of buildings’ potential savings between the 4DS and 2DS are in the residential sub-sector and residential space heating alone amounts to 22% of the total savings in the buildings sector.
  • Additional investment needed to realise the 2DS is estimated to be USD 11.5 trillion: USD 7.5 trillion in the residential sub-sector and USD 4.0 trillion in the services sub-sector. This investment is required to ensure that new buildings meet more stringent building codes, to refurbish around 60% of the OECD building stock still standing in 2050 to low-energy standards, and for additional investments in heat pumps, solar thermal systems, co-generation systems, lighting systems and appliances. In the residential sub-sector, improvements in building shells account for almost half of the incremental investment needs; in the services sub-sector, around 40% of all investment is required for this purpose.
  • Implementation of best available technologies (BATs) in the industry sector could reduce energy consumption by 20% from today’s level, one of the least-cost options to reduce energy consumption and emissions in industry. Optimising inefficient motors and related drive systems typically increases their efficiency by 20% to 25%. Given the ubiquitous use of motors in industry, this could reduce global electricity demand by as much as 7%.
  • But efficiency alone will not be sufficient to offset strong growth in industrial demand, so industry must adopt new technologies, such as smelting reduction, separation membranes, advanced catalysis, black liquor gasification, and carbon capture and storage (CCS), are needed to achieve significant emissions reduction.
  • The transport sector uses more than 52% of the oil extracted now, and that share has been increasingly constantly over the last decades because of oil’s high energy density cost-competitiveness compared with most alternative fuels. In the short term, improved fuel economy of today’s internal combustion engine (ICE) in cars and trucks (and efficiency improvements in other transport modes) can deliver the largest fuel savings and CO2 emissions reduction. After 2030 and by 2050, the 2DS calls for sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to reach 50% for cars and light-duty trucks.
  • Under favourable conditions, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles could represent close to 20% of annual vehicle sales in 2050. The success of such vehicles depends on the wider use of hydrogen in the economy, as well as on the development of sustainable production methods, the efficiency of hydrogen as a storage medium (compared to competing solutions) and the capacity to finance the necessary infrastructure deployment.
  • Biofuels will play an increasingly important role in decarbonising the remaining internal combustion automobiles as well as ships and aircraft, since liquid fuels used by these modes will represent more than 75% of energy used in transport in 2050.

Download PDF version: Factsheet ETP 2012 - End Use Sector