The research group carried out a systematic review of industry, transport, housing and commercial premises, as well as energy conversion, and analysed the feasibility of reducing fossil fuel dependency by substitution, efficiency improvement, and the introduction of new processes and technologies. Overall, the IVL scenario envisages a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 59 million tonnes in 2005 to 12 million in 2050.
Present-day electricity production would almost meet the national demand for electric power in 2050, even with a growth in GNP of 2.25 percent per annum. The complete or partial decommissioning of nuclear power would require 75 TWh of power to be generated from other sources in 2050. This would require a mix of wind power, increased hydro power potential from higher precipitation (a climate change effect), bioenergy, solar power or wave power. The scenario also calls for a limited application of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). Without this, the reduction in emissions would be 72 percent.
Sector-wide programmes will become increasingly important. Examples are the use of industrial waste heat for domestic heating or burning forest residues to produce electricity, heat and motor fuels.
“One of the biggest challenges is to make the transport sector fossil-free. Despite major improvements in energy efficiency and large-scale transition to electric propulsion, the sector will need large quantities of biofuels. This means that we must devote closer study to the environmental consequences that will follow the more intensive utilisation of forestry as a producer of bioenergy," comments Jenny Gode.
In technical terms, the carbon dioxide emissions that are most difficult to combat are produced mainly by the steel industry, cement production and the petrochemicals industry. CCS may be necessary here. Although the emissions may — at least in theory — be offset by foreign reductions (credits), the IVL researchers believe that such credits may be difficult to negotiate or very expensive by 2050, when the whole world will need to cut its emissions.