3 min read

Net Zero by 2050: The 10 milestones we must hit [Nexus Newsletter #89]

Hey friends,

Quick announcement before we get to this week's goodies: Tomorrow is our third Live Broadcast! As a reminder, each month we're bringing the deep, industry-shifting conversations you’ve come to expect to a live audience.

As usual, these are education-driven, they’ll cut through the marketing fluff, and they won’t be salesy or pay-to-play.

This month, we'll unpack the history and current best practices in scoring and certifying smart buildings (with one of the most innovative building owners in the world!)

We had our prep session last week and I can't wait! Jesse Carrillo, Paige Pitcher, and Sanjaya Ranasinghe have a great story to tell.

>>Sign up here to attend virtually, there's still time!<<

—James

P.S. There's also still time to join Nexus Foundations Cohort 3 along with 40+ other changemakers and newcomers - it's on sale for just one more week.


At the Nexus

Here’s everything we published this week:

🎧 #064: James McGinniss on DER technology and the future of electricity consumption—This week's podcast with the CEO of David Energy, a startup in what I would call The Grid-Interactive Buildings / Advanced Supervisory Control (ASC) Space. We talked about David Energy's founding story, the future of electricity consumption, and the problems David Energy's software solves by bridging the behind-the-meter, demand-side world with the in-front-of-the-meter, supply-side world.


Signal vs. Noise

I just have one thing for you to read and absorb this week. It's important.

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Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector—Given the recent IPCC report and the surprise many have felt, this is a good reminder of a great report the IEA released back in May. What do we have to do to get to Net Zero?

"Energy efficiency and electrification are the two main drivers of decarbonisation of the buildings sector. That transformation relies primarily on technologies already available on the market, including (...). Digitalisation and smart controls enable efficiency gains that reduce emissions from the buildings sector by 350 Mt CO2 by 2050."

Here's their full target list for buildings:

  1. Retrofit >85% of buildings to zero‐carbon‐ready level by 2050 (and ensure that zero‐carbon‐ready compliant building energy codes are in place by 2030 at the latest)
  2. Build 100% zero‐carbon‐ready new building construction by 2030
  3. Scale up heat pump production by 10x by 2050
  4. Install solar thermal on 1.2B buildings by 2050
  5. Adjust our residential energy heating and cooling setpoints to avoid 14% of demand by 2050
  6. Increase appliance efficiency by 40% by 2050
  7. Sell only LED lighting by 2025
  8. Provide electricity and clean cooking to 9.7B people by 2050
  9. Install 7500 TWh of distributed solar PV generation on buildings
  10. Install 3.5B privately owned EV chargers in buildings

Note that the timelines may be out of date now, given the new IPCC research.

Regardless: We as an industry must unite around this list.

"Any delay in reaching 2.5% of annual retrofits by 2030 would require such a steep subsequent ramp up as to make retrofitting the vast majority of buildings by 2050 virtually impossible."​"There are multiple milestones on the way to global net-zero emissions by 2050. If any sector lags, it may prove impossible to make up the difference elsewhere."

Like... right now. Who's with me?

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That's all for this week! Thanks for reading. 👋