Uneven progress made on key clean infrastructure shifts, new survey finds

Written by
Colton Poore, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
April 24, 2024

Clean energy and industrial infrastructure stakeholders’ perceived progress on several key enablers of the energy transition is mixed, according to a white paper from researchers at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

The “Net-Zero Stakeholder Survey,” taken by over 500 international stakeholders with direct experience in net-zero energy transition projects, assessed the progress made in the past five years on several paradigm shifts required for the world to achieve its climate goals. These shifts represent five key behaviors and practices in which rapid and dramatic change is necessary for reaching net-zero while ensuring just outcomes for communities. These shifts include, among others, reassessing how value is defined and shared for energy projects to include environmental and social values as well as financial outcomes, and investing in a diverse range of technologies to ensure resilient net-zero pathways. 

“Each of these unique, but complementary, shifts can help accelerate clean energy infrastructure deployment in durable and just ways, but they defy many industry norms,” said report co-author Chris Greig, the Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton III ’74 Senior Research Scientist at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. “However, with most major economies currently tracking at a fraction of the required pace of deployment, we really need to see all five shifts widely adopted this decade if we are to have a chance of meeting mid-century net-zero goals.”

This report is the first in a multi-year effort to track progress made on each of the five shifts over time, providing a baseline against which future results can be compared.

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