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Clean-tech development ecosystem required to meet decarbonisation targets: BCG report

Achieving decarbonisation targets worldwide requires a reduction in the green premium and rapid scaling up of the technologies for industrialisation to enable the development clean technology ecosystem to produce innovations at the necessary pace and scale, a recent report from BCG has found.

The report, titled ‘Fast-Tracking Green Tech: It Takes an Ecosystem’, asserted that after existing technologies address around 45% of the 51 gigatonnes of the greenhouse gases emitted annually around the world, the remaining 55% must be mitigated through yet-to-be-developed new technologies.

“The math is simple: the green technologies now being scaled up around the world—including renewable energy generated by solar and wind, heat optimisation and recovery, electrical efficiency, operations optimisation, and natural carbon sequestration—have the potential to reduce only about 23 gigatonnes of CO2 per year—45% of the 51 gigatonnes of CO2 currently being released into the atmosphere every year. To reach net zero goals, countries must eliminate or offset the remaining 28 gigatons of CO2 per year,” the report stated.

Specific technologies that need to be developed and industrialised to achieve this required carbon emissions reduction include low-carbon hydrogen and synthetic fuels, bioenergy, carbon removal, carbon capture storage and use, energy storage, green building technologies, distributed energy, and green factory technologies. While some technologies already exist in these eight categories, they are not yet at the required level of industrialisation needed to have the necessary impact.

The report listed six key hurdles to developing the technologies needed to achieve industrialisation at scale – product and process development, factory setup, talent sourcing, supply chain, integration into end systems, and funding.

The report explained that the only way to overcome these hurdles to meet the 1.5C by 2023 warming threshold set through the Paris Accords is to undertake parallelisation, which is where multiple factories are built and staffed at the same time, with their own supply chains established to provide source materials, and individual teams working to identify and meet customer demand.

Parallelisation can be achieved by assembling entire ecosystems of complementary organisations—"including incumbent industry players, green tech startups, industry associations, educational institutions, and public bodies—can the global community overcome the remaining hurdles and enable critical green technologies to deliver their full potential to mitigate GHGs”.

Read the full BCG report here

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