Net Zero by 2050
IEA Roadmap for Global Energy

18 May 2021

On 18 May 2021 the International Energy Agency – IEA – published its seminal roadmap for the global energy sector.

The IEA focusses on the need to take rapid action now based on the technology we have now, to have any chance of reaching Net Zero by 2050.

The IEA says its, "World's first comprehensive energy roadmap shows government actions needed to rapidly boost clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use can create millions of jobs, lift economic growth and keep net zero in reach".

It says, "The Pathway to the critical and formidable goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is narrow but brings huge benefits".

The report includes radical proposals for action, including the need for all countries to ban the sale of new fossil fuel boilers from 2025.

On the use of heat pumps

IEA Net Zero by 2050 Report

The IEA says, "The share of existing buildings retrofitted to the zero-carbon-ready level needs to increase from less than 1% in 2020 to 20% in 2030 and more than 85% in 2050. The corresponding share for new buildings must be 100% by 2030.

The stock of installed heat pumps needs to increase from 180 million in 2020 to 600 million in 2030 (almost quadruple) and thereafter a tenfold increase to 1,800 million in 2050."

It is significant than the IEA does not see any place for the use of hydrogen in the heating and cooling of buildings in 2030 and almost none in 2050.

By 2050 it expects most heat in buildings to be supplied by heat pumps (56%), solar thermal (18%) and district heating (15%).

A Roadmap for Global Energy

We recommend reading the full report, Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, which is comprehensive and well researched. It stretches to 224 pages with many detailed charts, graphs and references.


See Renewable Heating          See Renewable Cooling