Energy Transition

5 ways to fast-track the energy transition in 2024

Is this how we power-up the energy transition?

Is this how we power-up the energy transition? Image: Unsplash/Chelsea

Debmalya Sen
Lead, Advanced Energy Solutions, World Economic Forum, C4IR India
Maciej Kolaczkowski
Manager, Advanced Energy Solutions Industry, World Economic Forum
Jeremy Williams
Project Fellow, Advanced Energy Solutions, World Economic Forum
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Energy Transition

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • The key to an orderly energy transition lies in scaling up investment in all aspects of the clean energy system.
  • In 2024, several actions can be taken by businesses and governments to accelerate the energy transition.
  • Through its Advanced Energy Solutions community, the World Economic Forum is supporting leaders in their efforts to speed up the energy transition.

The key to an orderly energy transition lies in scaling up investment in all aspects of the clean energy system. While progress is being made, it is nowhere near enough. In addition to tripling renewable energy, a massive ramping up of solutions such as clean fuels, storage, carbon management and advanced nuclear is immediately required. This amplified growth requirement will need to be supported by more than $500 billion of investment per year in advanced energy solutions by 2030.

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Such targets and plans for the global energy transition by 2030 and 2050 may often feel overwhelming and slow to progress given the scale of the task and lengthy timespans. But there are immediate actions that can be taken and impactful results that can be achieved in the next 12 months.

Here are the top 5 ways to fast-track the energy transition in 2024

1. Organizations that are part of UNFCC must announce a net-zero plan

Many countries worldwide have declared their net-zero ambitions, but not many have a plan on how to fulfil them. On the corporate side, a survey of the member organizations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) found that only 10% of these organizations had a plan to achieve their net-zero goals. Can all corporate members of the UNFCC announce their net-zero plans in 2024?


What's the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

2. At least 50% reduction in the approval timeline for projects

A slow-moving permitting process often reduces the impact of supportive policies, regulations and financial incentives designed to speed up the energy transition. Between 2018 and 2022, for example, projects seeking to be connected to the power grid in the United States spent, on average, four years in the interconnection queue waiting for approval. The story is similar in other parts of the world. Often, improving this situation would not necessarily require new laws or regulations, but rather a streamlined process and more staff processing the requests. Can regulators and policy-makers reduce the time needed to obtain the necessary permits by 50% in 2024?

3. Double annual investments in clean energy technologies

Investment in clean energy technologies rose by 24% between 2021 and 2023. This was mostly driven by the continued expansion of renewable energy. At the same time, investment in advanced energy solutions is growing fast, from 50% in clean hydrogen and carbon capture and storage to 75% for battery storage in 2022. This growth needs to be further accelerated, however, as advanced solutions need to double and triple every year to reach 500 billion per year by 2030. Will innovators, large energy companies, energy users and investors be able to double their investments in advanced energy solutions in 2024?

4. Build industrial scale advanced solutions

Scaled deployments of critical technologies are at various levels of maturity, with batteries in particular showing a certain degree of maturity. Announcements, MoUs and partnerships have been making the news over the last two years, however, many solutions are still on the verge of industrialization. For example in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), a few industrial-scale plants are already in operation, including Neste’s 1 MT Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility in Singapore and Montana Renewables SAF facility in the US. A few new plants are expected to come online in 2024, for example by innovators SkyNRG and Synhelion. Will we see industrial expansion in clean hydrogen, storage and carbon management in 2024?

5. Stable policy and regulation

Frequent policy flip-flops and uncertainty on fiscal benefits can slow down progress and delay decision-making processes by investor communities while undermining confidence. The investor community already accounts for technology risks; any further uncertainty will dampen the progress and acceleration of deployments. Can we see governments and regulators provide a stable environment to plan policies or incentives in 2024 for the decades to come?

The Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, along with the 12 months that follow, are an opportunity for action by business and political leaders. They need to take meaningful steps to drive the energy transition. The Advanced Energy Solutions community will support innovative leaders, large energy companies, energy users and investors who work across industry boundaries and with policy-makers to shorten from decades to years the time needed for deployment of advanced energy solutions.

Advanced Energy Solutions is a community of the World Economic Forum. LEK Consulting is the knowledge partner of the community. Get in touch to learn more and engage at

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Energy TransitionDavos Agenda
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