With an increasing global population and the industrialisation of the Global South we will need more and more energy to sustain the global economy. According to Professor Gert Jan Kramer, we will continue to rely on hydrocarbons, which currently come overwhelmingly from fossil fuels such as oil. So which technological pathways will allow us to use and produce hydrocarbons sustainably in the future?
Gert Jan Kramer is Professor of Sustainable Energy Supply Systems and head of the Energy & Resources group at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. He is also the leader of the research hub Deep Decarbonisation: Towards Industries with Negative Emissions, part of the university-wide strategic research theme Pathways to Sustainability. His interests focus on energy transition as a technical and a socio-technical phenomenon.
Straightforward expansion of green renewable electricity production
Professor Kramer is optimistic about the expansion of green renewable electricity production. “There is more and more action in the solar and wind sectors. So much that soon there will be no longer be a need for subsidies. Rather, there will be a need for different market rules. The electricity market was designed in the fossil-based era. As we change towards a more sustainable production system, we will have to change the market too. Governments are keen to ‘leave it to the market’, which they can do provided they make market rules conducive to ongoing, transformative change.”