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HELM TALKS: Net Zero Lecture 2

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Dieter Helm's lecture series on Net Zero

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HELM TALKS: Net Zero Lecture 2

  1. 1. AGENDA • The demand for electricity • Digitalisation • Renewables • Nuclear • CCS • Global inputs to electricity and energy • Cost
  2. 2. THE DEMAND FOR ELECTRICITY • Industrial demand and deindustrialisation • Active demand management • Air conditioning • Household heating • Transport
  3. 3. ALL FOR A DIGITAL ECONOMY • Security of supply – robots • Re-shoring – 3D printing • Energy Intensive – AI + MANY MANY MORE WAYS TO USE MORE AND MORE ENERGY
  4. 4. RENEWABLES • No such thing as a pure renewable energy supply • Deforestation – e.g. biomass & biofuels (wood & pellets; palm oil; wheat…) • Low density and intermittent • Need Equivalent Firm Power (EFP) auctions • Existing renewables cannot solve the problem on their own…..
  5. 5. NUCLEAR • On an EFP basis probably ahead of offshore wind • Can be delivered at large scale BUT: • Political objection • Waste and risk issues • Delivery problems
  6. 6. CCS • An admission of failure • Mostly for EOR so far • Volume issue BUT • North Sea is a good place to start
  7. 7. BUYING OUT THE OBJECTIVE – INTERNATIONAL CREDITS • Significant increase in electricity imports • Paying others to reduce emissions • Problems of counterfactual, especially with forestry
  8. 8. COST • Lots and lots of lobbying • Full costs rarely reported • Offshore wind is the lead PR story • Cost of marginal vs. average turbines • Cost of connection • Cost of intermittency (hourly, daily, seasonally) • Cost of Energy Review analysis • Yellow Vests • Delusions of “cheap” energy and low carbon energy
  9. 9. AND GLOBALLY THE BIG ISSUE IS COAL • China 1000 GWs • China 700 projects on Belt-and-Raid • South African coal • Australia Coal AND MUCH MORE… • IEA has 25% share of coal in energy in 2040 • Which is more than 40% in 2020 as GDP x 2++ by 2040.

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