“Decarbonisation” has entered the vocabulary of most governments and large corporates. Other than a few naysayers who are for the present holding their voice, they have all committed to a time bound, “net zero” carbon emissions target.
They are also in agreement over what needs to be done to reach that target. Fossil fuels must be steadily but inexorably replaced by clean energy; electricity should be increasingly generated from solar and wind; transport should switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles; energy demand should be conserved and more efficiently consumed; and technology and innovation must remain the centrepiece of all activities.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to simply set a time deadline and agree on the steps to be taken. Governments and corporates have also to agree on removing the legacy obstacles that lie on the pathway. Three, in particular, could significantly slow the pace of progress.
These are poorly designed planning systems; siloed and fragmented physical and regulatory oversight mechanisms for the energy ecosystem and the lack of investment in energy infrastructure.