There are unmistakable signals that things are changing. Even as economies fell under the weight of Covid-19 lockdowns, renewable energy additions such as wind and solar PV grew at their quickest rate in two decades in 2020, while electric car sales established new highs. Policy action, technological innovation, and the growing urgency of the need to address climate change are ushering in a new energy economy. There is no guarantee that the transition to this new energy economy will be easy, and it is not happening fast enough to avoid severe climate damage. However, it is already evident that the energy economy of the future will be very different from the one we have now.

Electricity is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ lives, and for an increasing number of homes, it will be the primary source of energy for all of their daily needs, including transportation, cooking, lighting, heating, and cooling. Electricity’s dependability and cost are projected to become ever more important in all aspects of people’s lives and well-being.

Electricity is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ lives, and for an increasing number of homes, it will be the primary source of energy for all of their daily needs, including transportation, cooking, lighting, heating, and cooling. Electricity’s dependability and cost are projected to become ever more important in all aspects of people’s lives and well-being.

Electricity’s share of global final energy consumption has continuously increased in recent decades, and it presently stands at 20%. As the pace of transitions quickens, its ascent will accelerate in the next years. By 2050, electricity will account for around half of total energy use in the NZE (around 30 percent in the APS). Given that electricity provides valuable energy services more efficiently than other fuels, its contribution is significantly more than these figures suggest.

Electricity’s rise necessitates a rise in its share of energy-related investment. Since 2016, global electricity investment has regularly outpaced investment in oil and gas supplies. The bigger this gap increases as clean energy transitions accelerate, and as a result, electricity becomes the primary venue for energy-related financial transactions. By 2030, investment in electricity generation and infrastructure in the NZE will be six times larger than that in oil and gas supply.

Clean technologies in the power sector and across a range of end-uses have become the first choice for consumers all over the world, owing to legislative backing at first but eventually because they are the most cost-effective. Solar PV or wind power are already the most cost-effective sources of new electricity generation in most areas. In many markets, the case for electric automobiles is already compelling based on total expenses of ownership.

The large market opportunity for clean technology has become a major new sector for investment and international rivalry in the new energy economy, as governments and enterprises compete for position in global supply chains. We anticipate that if the world achieves net zero emissions by 2050, the yearly market opportunity for wind turbines, solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, electrolysers, and fuel cells will increase tenfold to USD 1.2 trillion by 2050, or 3.5 times larger than in the STEPS. The combined value of these five factors would be more than the current oil sector and its accompanying income.

The large market opportunity for clean technology Credit: Verified Market Research

The new energy economy encompasses a wide range of and frequently complex interactions across electricity, fuels, and storage sectors, posing new regulatory and market design difficulties. How to manage the potential for increased variability on both the demand and supply sides of the energy equation is a fundamental concern. Rising proportions of wind and solar PV will influence the variability of energy supply, putting a premium on strong networks and other forms of supply flexibility. Increased deployment of heat pumps and air conditioners (the latter especially in developing economies, where current ownership levels are low) will shape demand variability, which could be exacerbated by poorly sequenced EV fleet recharging or by cold snaps, heat waves, or other extreme weather events. The daily variation in demand might climb to 270 gigawatts (GW) in the European Union (from 120 GW now) and over 170 GW in India (from 40 GW) by mid-century if appropriate measures to prepare for and control these fluctuations are not in place.

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In order to integrate different parts of the future energy system, digital technologies are needed. With the rise of electric mobility, sectors that have previously operated largely independently (such as electricity and transportation) become more connected in new ways, and grids must cope with a much greater diversity and complexity of flows as many new players, including households, enter the arena as producers. Managing the platforms and data required to keep this system running smoothly, as well as managing associated cybersecurity and data privacy threats, becomes a major aspect of the new energy economy.

Clean electrification, together with the pursuit of efficiency gains, is the prominent theme in the early stages of the global energy economy’s change. Continued rapid deployment in these areas, however, must be complemented by clean energy innovation and mass adoption of technologies that are not yet widely available. These technologies, which include advanced batteries, hydrogen electrolysers, advanced biofuels, and new CO2 capture and use technologies, including direct air capture, are critical for decarbonizing areas such as heavy industry and long-distance transportation that are not readily susceptible to electrification for one reason or another. Building these additional pillars of the new energy economy will necessitate early and persistent investment in energy research and development, as well as an expedited demonstration project program.

These developments reroute global commerce and finance movements. As the value of fossil fuels trade drops, the combined contribution of hydrogen and key minerals (such as lithium, cobalt, copper, and rare earth elements) in global energy-related commerce rises to one-quarter of the total in the APS and takes a major part in the NZE. This radically changes the current dynamics of international energy-related trade, as well as a dramatic shift in energy-related financial flows: as the value of trade in fossil fuels declines, so do the dollar-denominated profits flowing to producer economies from oil and gas exports.

The NZE depicts a collaborative new energy economy in which countries display a shared commitment on achieving the necessary carbon reductions while minimizing and mitigating new energy security issues. However, the APS warns that as countries move through energy transitions at varying speeds, new divisions and fragmentation may emerge. The APS, for example, sees the manufacturing of “green” steel in economies that have vowed to achieve net zero emissions alongside the continued use of traditional emissions-intensive processes elsewhere by the 2030s, escalating tensions over energy-intensive goods trade. There may be a chasm in international investment and finance as well: increasingly stringent financial flow regulations may mean that capital from the “net zero” world does not move as freely to nations that are transitioning more slowly. Finding strategies to decrease and control the possible tensions in the international system that are emphasized in the APS will be critical to successful, orderly, and broad-based changes in which countries gain from global commerce.


Getting to net zero emissions will necessitate a massive increase in clean energy investment. By 2030, annual investment in renewable energy in the NZE will have risen to USD 4 trillion, more than tripling from present levels. It will be difficult to raise such a large sum of money, but the investment required to secure clean energy transitions provides an unprecedented level of market opportunities for equipment manufacturers, service providers, developers, and engineering, procurement, and construction firms throughout the clean energy supply chain.

The market for wind turbines, solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, electrolysers, and fuel cells in the NZE represents a total market opportunity worth USD 27 trillion by 2050. Batteries dominate the expected market for renewable energy technology equipment in 2050, accounting for more than 60% of the total. Batteries play a critical role in the new energy economy, with over 3 billion electric vehicles (EVs) on the road and 3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of battery storage deployed in the NZE by 2050. They also became the single most important source of demand for essential minerals like lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

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Advanced economies have been beefing up their research and development (R&D) programs and increasing expenditure on renewable energy technologies, but as deployment spreads globally, spending patterns will shift. According to the NZE, the Asia Pacific area will account for 45 percent of the expected market for clean energy technology by 2050, while North America and Europe’s portion of the market will be lower than it was earlier in the timeframe.



The Neutrino Energy Group is a binational research organization based in Germany and the United States. The goal of the study is to generate energy through the use of invisible radiation spectra. As a result, this research group is working on a hot topic, as the finiteness of fossil fuels is becoming increasingly apparent, and new, preferably CO2-neutral energy sources are required in the face of climate change.

The Neutrino Energy Group has now succeeded in developing a material dense enough to activate certain neutrino interactions. This unique material is being used to create the first neutrino photovoltaic cells for electricity generation. The material is made up of a carrier layer that is vapor-deposited with layers of silicon and doped graphene. These layers are incredibly thin, measuring in the nanometer range. Horizontal (silicon) and vertical (graphene) pulses are produced when neutrinos collide with this material. The right layer thickness of these doped materials is critical in this application. The atomic vibrations caused by the pulses are set into resonance if the layer thickness is optimal. This is subsequently passed to the substrate material, causing an electric current to flow that can be tapped (harvested).

Todays science is tomorrows technology – Holger Thorsten Schubart CEO of the Neutrino Energy Group

In theory, the quantity of energy that may be retrieved is determined by the region traveled. It will be possible to charge electrical gadgets without the use of an electrical outlet or cable in the future thanks to the neutrino-inside method. The energy can simply be “gathered” from the surrounding environment. As a result, humanity now has an unlimited, clean, and always available supply of energy, as well as the ability to halt climate change.


Because they charge and discharge quickly and have extended cycle lifetimes, supercapacitors, which are utilized in everything from military applications to elevators and automobiles, are enticing renewable energy sources. There is, however, one big drawback: low energy density.

“Today’s supercapacitors have only one-tenth the energy density of lithium-ion batteries,” according to Meilin Liu, a Regents Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering. “The device would have to be substantially larger to provide you with the same amount of electrical energy.”

This new breed of supercaps could replace batteries – Liu, Regents Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering.

Liu is working with fellow Regents Professor, C.P. Wong, on graphene-based supercapacitors that have drastically increased energy density while maintaining high power and long operating life. The research is supported by ARPA-E.

Graphene is a two-dimensional material that is 100 times stronger than steel and has a better electrical conductivity than copper. Graphene, on the other hand, is known for its ability to stack and produce graphite. The researchers circumvent this by sandwiching molecular spacers between the graphene sheets, resulting in a three-dimensional porous structure with a capacitance of 400 Faradays per gram, four times that of current supercaps.

The researchers were able to increase capacitance by spreading transition metal compounds across the graphene-based framework.

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Graphene has a capacitance of only approximately 400 Faradays per gram of material. Transition metal complexes, on the other hand, have a higher energy density (2,000 to 3,000 Faradays per gram) but a poor electrical connection, which slows the flow of electrons required for charging and discharging. By combining metal compounds with 3-D porous graphene, which has a high connectivity rating, the researchers were able to achieve a capacitance of over 1,500 Faradays per gram while maintaining outstanding cycling.

Using two distinct electrode materials to broaden voltage, the researchers are also enhancing energy density (one positive and one negative). “For each redox material, we optimize the nanostructure to obtain the operating window of potential.”


Researchers led by Peter Loutzenhiser are using solar energy to reverse the combustion process and produce synthesis gas (a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and small amounts of carbon dioxide) that can be turned into fuels like kerosene and gasoline.

“Instead of using fossil resources to manufacture fuel, we’re using combustion byproducts (water and carbon dioxide) to re-energize the system with the sun,” Loutzenhiser, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Mechanical Engineering, noted.

The researchers are looking into a two-step procedure that splits water and carbon dioxide using metal oxides. Between 1100 and 1800 degrees Celsius, the first phase thermally decreases or “pulls off” oxygen from the metal oxide substance. In the second step, either water or carbon dioxide is added at temperatures between 300 and 900 degrees Celsius. Lower temperatures favor re-oxidation, which allows the metal oxide to absorb oxygen from either water or carbon dioxide, producing hydrogen or carbon monoxide. “The two processes are critical because without them, the oxygen would recombine with either carbon monoxide or hydrogen, releasing heat that would be lost,” Loutzenhiser explained.

The approach has been proved to work with zinc oxide, but the researchers are looking for materials that will speed up the reactions and lower the temperature of the first stage. “In the high-temp stage, you want something that can reduce at the lowest feasible temperature and then take oxygen from carbon dioxide or water vapor in the second phase,” Loutzenhiser explained.

With mixed ionic electronic conducting materials, the researchers recently produced encouraging results. They’re now trying to tailor these materials so that they can break apart CO2 or water vapor molecules at lower temperatures.

“Instead of pulling fuel from the ground, we could pull carbon dioxide from the air and use the sun to convert it with water into a long-term storage medium that could be shipped and used around the world without changing transportation infrastructure,” Loutzenhiser said if the technology is commercialized.

Many countries are working to establish manufacturing expertise and capabilities that will allow them to meet domestic demand with locally produced goods while simultaneously participating in global supply chains and licensing relevant intellectual property. Energy start-ups have a significant role to play in this. Despite the epidemic, renewable energy technology start-ups have received unprecedented amounts of funding, with investment in 2021 anticipated to eclipse the USD 4 billion in early-stage equity raised in 2019, the previous high year. Although the United States continues to account for over half of all capital invested, Europe was the only major region to grow investment in 2020, and China’s market share has increased from 5% in 2010-14 to over 35% in the last three years.

Governments all throughout the world are likewise aggressively seeking new talent. Government initiatives have been launched in India and Singapore to support international renewable energy enterprises. Energy R&D and innovation has recently received high-level commitments from China, Japan, and the United States, positioning it as a major area of technological competitiveness in the next years. Public initiatives in Europe, such as the European Battery Alliance, are actively attempting to establish new value chains. The top innovators have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of developing value chains with enormous future potential.

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