New Insights Brief! Energy Infrastructure: Affordability Enabler or Decarbonisation Constraint?

Posted on 2 July 2019

The World Energy Council has launched an exclusive Innovation Insights Brief: Energy Infrastructure: Affordability Enabler or Decarbonisation Constraint? The brief contains key insights from interviews with global leaders across the energy sector. Read it here.

Transitioning to a decarbonised energy system will result in stranded infrastructure assets or lead to their early decommissioning. The Insights Brief responds to the emerging need for a coordinated action plan to minimise costs. It offers a set of principles to design an effective plan for energy infrastructure.

“Existing energy infrastructure can be a resource for a more affordable energy transition, if the world invests in it now.”
Dr Angela Wilkinson, Senior Director, Scenarios and Business Insights

“Roughly half of the world’s invested capital is sunk in energy and related infrastructure. In order to keep transition costs low, we need to understand where we can repurpose rather than rebuild infrastructure, step-wise decarbonise existing assets rather than re-invent new supply chains, and green the molecules rather than believe we can do it all with electrons.”
Dr Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the Council

Key messages:

  • A successful energy transition depends on adaptable, reliable and affordable infrastructure.
  • Stranded assets are a given but there is a need for timely management so as not to make decarbonisation cost-prohibitive
  • Businesses must reframe market strategies to explore how existing infrastructure can be repurposed to support the transition to low-carbon solutions.
  • Energy Infrastructure Action plans are needed to ensure that existing infrastructure is part of a global decarbonisation effort.