In Chapter 1, we begin with a brief review of the looming crises of climate change if left unchecked, we establish the criticality of 2050 for decarbonization, and argue for the need for substantial disruptive innovation to get us there. We overview the economics of disruptive innovative and industry dynamics as a basis for our analysis and lay out our plan to analyze the major greenhouse gas emitting sectors of the global economy.
In Chapter 2, we tackle the energy sector with a specific focus on the generation of electricity. We discuss the original decarbonized energy sources: hydro and nuclear power. We cover the evolution of wind power and the emergence of utility-scale solar power. We discuss a variety of wildcard disruptor technologies in development and provide our upshot on the possibility of decarbonizing electricity. We end with a consideration of various levers that could help us decarbonize electricity generation by 2050.
In Chapter 3, we turn our attention to the transportation sector and automobiles, in particular. We briefly cover the 100-year history of electrical vehicles and the emergence of hybrids in the last 20 years. We discuss in depth the recent emergence of battery-powered electrics and the potential of hydrogen fuel cells. We recognize autonomous vehicles as a wildcard disruptor in automobiles and provide our upshot on the possibility of decarbonizing transportation, including rail, air, and shipping. We end with a consideration of various levers that could help us decarbonize transportation by 2050.
In Chapter 4, we examine industrials focusing on the three largest emitting industries – steel, cement, and petrochemicals. For each subsector, we analyze the possible paths to decarbonization with a particular emphasis on electrification and material substitution. We recognize additive manufacturing as a possible wildcard disruptor and provide our upshot on the possibility of decarbonizing industrials. We end with a consideration of various levers that could help us decarbonize industrials by 2050 including carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
In Chapter 5, we tackle the built environment focusing on scope one emissions from buildings. We analyze both residential and commercial buildings and examine the potential for electrification and for constructing net-negative buildings. We recognize rooftop and commercial solar as a wildcard disruptor and provide our upshot on the possibility of decarbonizing buildings. We end with a consideration of various levers that could help us decarbonize buildings by 2050.
In Chapter 6, we take on agriculture and the myriad of sources of greenhouse gases emitted in the production of food. We analyze the two largest sources of emissions: livestock and the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. We discuss a number of best practices and technologies being developed to help address these sources. We recognize clean or lab grown meet as a wildcard disruptor and provide our upshot on the possibility of decarbonizing agriculture. We end with a consideration of various levers that could help us decarbonize agriculture by 2050 including the possibility of creating more carbon sinks.
In Chapter 7, we conclude the book by advancing a comprehensive clean technology policy strategy with a special focus on policy interventions that can help achieve decarbonization by 2050. We provide a specific game plan for each of the major sectors covered in the book: energy, transportation, industrials, buildings, and agriculture. We focus on policies that can drive a transformation to disruptive sustainable technologies. We advocate a coordinated approach including both the public and private sector and involving international cooperation.