As you may know, current technological improvements are yet to put the world on track to a net-zero trajectory. Meeting our climate objectives will require the uptake of transformative low-carbon innovations to supplement mitigation efforts. However, the role of such innovations is not yet fully understood; some of these ‘miracles’ are considered indispensable to Paris Agreement-compliant mitigation, but their limitations, availability, and potential remain a source of debate.
Earlier in 2022, the PARIS REINFORCE consortium invited you to participate in an expert survey on such technological, behavioural, market, and other game-changing innovations, regarding their mitigation potential, at-scale availability and/or widescale adoption, and risk of delayed diffusion. You, along with more than 250 energy and climate experts around the world, kindly responded to our invitation and offered a glimpse of how you perceive these innovations. You were also among those participants that opted to be informed on the scientific findings of our survey.
In summary, we found important differences in perceptions of core technological innovations. Notably, next-generation energy storage, alternative building materials, iron-ore electrolysis, and hydrogen in steelmaking emerged as top priorities.
Instead, technologies highly represented in well-below-2°C scenarios were found to feature considerable and impactful delays among expert perceptions, hinting at the need to re-evaluate their role in future decarbonisation pathways.
Participants’ assessments appeared to converge more on the potential role of other disruptive innovations, including lifestyle shifts and alternative economic models. This further underpins the importance of considering non-technological and demand-side innovations in science and policy alike.
This is only a high-level teaser of our findings. You may read the detailed analysis of your collective input in our open access article in Energy Strategy Reviews here!
After 3.5 very productive and scientifically exciting years, in which we worked with thousands of stakeholders such as yourself to co-create modelled pathways for supporting climate action in Europe and worldwide, the PARIS REINFORCE research project came to an end a few days ago. You may read more here!
We would like to sincerely thank you as well as every stakeholder that put their piece in the PARIS REINFORCE puzzle, however big or small—whether in a participatory workshop, a question raised in a policy event, a message sent via our website, or a response to a survey such as this one.