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Electric vehicles to achieve cost parity by 2022, but Paris pledges missed

Despite the falling price of electric vehicles (EVs) and the expanding renewable energy sector, key pledges laid out in the Paris agreement will most likely not be met, according to Ditlev Engel and energy consulting firm DNV GL.

EVs are predicted to drop to the same price as combustion vehicles by 2022, a key trigger that will mean by 2035 half of all passenger vehicles sold globally will be electric, Engel said.

“The trends are very clear that the world is electrifying, renewables are taking up more space, we’re moving into a world of EVs, but we have to remember we are racing against the clock. It’s not enough,” said Engel, whose 2,300 staff advise companies and governments on energy issues.

He said that based on current projections the world would not achieve the goal of limiting the earth’s warming to well below 2° Celsius by 2050, as pledged in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Anything you can substitute today, you’ve got to accelerate. The speed of implementation must be even faster and this can only happen if the public and private sectors coordinate,” he said at the company’s energy business headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

On the back of the UN-led Paris agreement, governments have started announcing policies aimed at reducing climate-harming carbon emissions, such as Britain pledging a ban on new diesel and petrol car sales by 2040.

DNV GL expects energy demand will peak around 2030 due to more efficient use and slower population and productivity growth, it said in its first report assessing the impact of the transition towards greater electrification.

Growing electricity production will be the main driver for more efficient energy use as consumers move away from low-efficiency fossil fuels, with power output expected to soar by 140 per cent by the middle of the century.

As a result, renewable energy sources will account for 85 per cent of global electricity production by 2050, DNV GL forecasts.

Despite the rise in renewable energy, it is gas that will overtake oil as the world’s biggest energy source by 2034, the consultancy said, a trend that is reflected in an investment shift at major oil companies towards new gas projects.

This thinking underpinned, for example, Royal Dutch Shell’s $54bn takeover of BG Group last year.

The UK’s National Grid recently moved to downplay fears that the increasing popularity of electric vehicles will cause a significant strain on pre-existing power networks. 

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