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Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)
CET Virtual & Physical Lunch Seminar

How fast can technologies grow?

Welcome to our lunch seminar with Jessica Jewell, Professor II at CET and associate professor at Chalmers University.

Wind turbines
Photo:
Dimitri Anikin/Unsplash

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How fast can technologies grow? And can late-comers grow faster than frontrunners?

In her talk Jewell will present the article National growth dynamics of wind and solar power compared to the growth required for global climate targets, co-authored with Cherp, Vinichenko, Tosun & Gordoin, published in Nature Energy 6 this year.

Climate mitigation scenarios envision considerable growth of wind and solar power, but scholars disagree on how this growth compares with historical trends. Here we fit growth models to wind and solar trajectories to identify countries in which growth has already stabilized after the initial acceleration. National growth has followed S-curves to reach maximum annual rates of 0.8% (interquartile range of 0.6–1.1%) of the total electricity supply for onshore wind and 0.6% (0.4–0.9%) for solar. In comparison, one-half of 1.5 °C-compatible scenarios envision global growth of wind power above 1.3% and of solar power above 1.4%, while one-quarter of these scenarios envision global growth of solar above 3.3% per year. Replicating or exceeding the fastest national growth globally may be challenging because, so far, countries that introduced wind and solar power later have not achieved higher maximum growth rates, despite their generally speedier progression through the technology adoption cycle.

 

About the speaker:

Jessica Jewell is an Associate Professor in Energy Transitions at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University and a Professor II at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation at the University of Bergen. Her research focuses on the feasibility of climate action and quantifying the dynamics and mechanisms of energy transitions using a variety of disciplinary approaches and methods.