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The energy transition: A region-by-region agenda for near-term action

Another great and complete 164 pages report by McKinsey, intended to basically answer the following question" what practical actions could countries take now to ensure that the energy transition both accelerates and proceeds in an orderly fashion?

With focus is on near-term, 2030 as the time horizon, the report looks at critical actions necessary through global and regional lenses, as well as individual stakeholders, such as governments, financial institutions, companies, and individuals.

Even though renewable energy production doubled in the past decade, fossil fuels still represent about 82 percent of primary energy consumption in 2021.

According to the report, annual solar and wind installed capacity would need to almost triple over the coming decade, to more than 520 gigawatts (GW) average yearly installed capacity, from an average of about 180 GW from 2016 to 2021. Among the several regions detailed in the report, specifically Latin America would need to speed solar capacity up 2,8 times faster and wind 2,3 times.

McKinsey mapped aspects that differentiate the countries in this era of energy transition. First, the country’s disposable financial resources and its ability to leverage capital to support the energy transition. Then, two other aspects releated to the level of energy resilience:

  • availability (or not) of natural resources, such as critical minerals, the potential for wind and solar generation and

  • economic reliance on energy imports and emissions intensive industries

As such, the countries were clustered into 5 groups as follows:

  • Affluent, energy-secure countries, including Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, which have abundant domestic production of energy and high GDP per capita. And need to reconsider energy sources.

  • Affluent, energy-exposed countries, including Germany, Italy, and Japan, which face energy-security challenges. Opportunity to pivot toward domestic clean-energy production.

  • Large, emissions-intensive economies, including China, India, and South Africa, with the challenge of meeting growing energy demand with cleaner resources, and reduce reliance particularly from coal.

  • Developing, naturally endowed economies, including Brazil, Mexico, and Indonesia, which have significant power potential from solar or wind sources and critical natural resources such as rare metals.

  • Developing, at-risk economies, which include parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, along with several island nations. Still with insufficient infrastructure services and therefore with disproportionate exposure to climate risk, limited potential for renewables development and natural endowments, financial constraints related to investment in climate adaptation.

Click on the image below to access the full report and usefull graphs.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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