There are many sectors currently using fossil-fuel energy that can be converted to direct use of (green) electricity thanks to existing technologies. These include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), heat pumps for residential and commercial buildings, electric cooking (e.g. induction and microwave stoves), and direct reduction of ores in metallurgy.
Mainly involving the agriculture sector, as it contributes up to a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, industrial fertilizers, livestock, and direct and indirect fossil fuel uses. Solutions include sustainable global supply chain management for major crops and global real-time monitoring systems for land management.
Zero-carbon electricity can engage multiple possible types of power generation. These include renewables broadly defined to include wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, ocean, and tidal. Other types include nuclear, bioenergy. and carbon capture and storage (CCS) of fossil-fuel generated electricity (Excluded from consideration in the GBL).
There is a wide range of potential synthetic fuels, including hydrogen (for direct combustion, industry, or use in fuel cells), synthetic methane, synthetic methanol, and synthetic liquid hydrocarbons. These synthetic fuels can be manufactured using green electricity and can facilitate the circular economy by processing materials from municipal and agricultural waste into energy.
Built with contributions from big data, artificial intelligence, and the IoT, smart grids are self-regulating systems that can shift among multiple sources of power generation and multiple uses to provide reliable and low-cost systems operations despite the variability of renewable energy.
Improved materials and material flows such as reuse and recycling can significantly improve materials efficiency, reduce the process emissions of CO2 and slash energy inputs in industrial processes. R&D into alternatives to cement, plastics, and other pollutants (persistent pesticides) are increasingly important.