The definition of energy transition is a gradual and steady shift of global energy use from fossil-based sources to a zero-carbon system by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The energy transition is the main tool in a broader strategy adopted by governments to contain global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century. The green energy transition is necessary to reduce the energy-related CO2 emissions from fossil fuels that scientific research confirms are a key factor in climate change, and thereby mitigate its disruptive impacts. Electrification of final consumption, or replacing fossil fuel-based technologies in all sectors with technologies that use electricity produced from renewable sources, can make a significant contribution to the process of decarbonization.
An energy transition that is grounded in renewables is important because it delivers benefits that go beyond solving the climate crisis. The transition, according to IRENA, can:
- Create new jobs and economic growth
- Underpin sustainable development
- Improve health by reducing pollution