📊 EV’s Charts of the Week #107
Are we entering a new era of climate action?
Hi, I’m Azeem Azhar. I convene Exponential View to help us understand how our societies and political economy will change under the force of rapidly accelerating technologies. Every Wednesday, I do this in Charts of the Week.
CHART OF THE WEEK
Loosening the chains
The climate transition is entering a new era: the one of complex risk governance. The last few decades were marked by calls for fast action, and discussions about how climate action should enable sustainable development. The crises that have kicked off the 2020s are introducing a new paradigm, in which the “how” of the climate transition is further complexified by the recognition that energy systems need to be secure and resilient.
The infrastructure and supply chains of a new green world are being built, but they are still extremely concentrated. Changing this trend could mean more democratic governance, more resilience to crises and geopolitical conflicts, and likely lower prices.
DEPT OF ENERGY
The clean energy transition has a mountain to climb. Contrary to past energy transitions, we now not only have to add to an energy mix to meet growing demand, but have to meet this demand while also phasing out fossil sources. Energy demand is set to increase by nearly 50% in 2050 (compared to 2020) according to America’s Energy Information Administration. I think this forecast is a low ball. McKinsey & Co reckons a tripling by 2050 which I suspect is directionally more accurate. Major drivers of this transition are the declining energy costs of from clean sources (which depend on technological innovation, learning and sufficient supply), and increasingly, concerns about energy security.