singaporeen
The future of energy will be renewable, electric and efficient

The future of energy will be renewable, electric and efficient

03-03-2021 | Insight
The election of Joe Biden as America’s 46th President is just one more important signal that change is imminent, for energy markets and the broader economy. With the world aligned and committed in the fight against climate change, the global movement towards a sustainable energy supply is gaining considerable momentum.
  • Roman Boner
    Roman
    Boner
    Portfolio Manager

Speed read

  • The US is aligned with the world on climate change
  • Renewable power generation will increase six-fold by 2050
  • Green hydrogen will provide energy storage for heavy-industry

United and ambitious

The turnaround in climate policy announced by the Biden administration is of global significance. Along with China, the US is the biggest climate polluter. Together, the two world powers are responsible for more than 40 percent of global carbon emissions. In addition to re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden has announced investments in infrastructure renewal amounting to around USD 2 trillion. 

As part of the plan, four million commercial buildings will be upgraded with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient technologies. In addition, investments will be devoted to further electrification based on renewable energy sources. The goal of completely decarbonizing electricity generation by 2035 is particularly ambitious. By 2050, the entire energy supply in the US is to be carbon neutral – on par with Europe and China’s ambitions.

Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Read more

Energy consumption set to rise

Despite increasing global efforts towards energy efficiency, in the immediate future, energy demand will continue to increase. The two biggest drivers are the unchecked rise in global populations and GDP growth, led by the Asia-Pacific region. With appropriate measures, however, it is entirely possible that the level of global energy consumption will first plateau before reaching a point of slow decline by 2030 (see Figure 1). 

But to do this, three measures are required simultaneously: 1) the electrification of fossil-fuel dependent heating and transport sectors, 2) stricter energy efficiency measures for other end-use sectors, and 3) substantial expansion of the share of solar and wind energy in electric power grids.

Despite optimism, our own estimates don’t see us achieving the 1.5°C scenario by 2050 – a scenario that would require complete carbon neutrality. It seems more likely that energy-related carbon emissions will be halved from today’s level to slightly below 20 gigatons per year by 2050 (see Figure 1). Even this, however, will only be possible if the percentage of electricity making up the global energy supply increases from its current share of 20% to 50%. In parallel, the ‘renewable share’ of electricity must rise from its current 30% share to 85%. According to our calculations, this would mean that electricity generation, driven by solar and wind, would have to increase by a factor of about six by 2050 – an entirely realistic scenario.

Figure 1 | The target scenario of 1.5°C by 2050 is barely achievable

Source: Robeco, Global Carbon Project

Transport in transition

The transport sector, in particular, has shown the highest growth rates in energy demand. With a share of almost 30% of global energy consumption, and a heavy dependence on oil, it is one of the biggest carbon polluting sectors, driven not only by vehicles but also by air traffic.

The automotive industry is increasingly seeing that its carbon footprint can only be reduced sustainably through comprehensive electrification – encompassing both electric vehicles and the renewably generated electricity that powers them. Some automakers have already formulated self-imposed goals as a means of decarbonizing the automotive value chain starting with vehicle production, continuing through use and maintenance, and ending with vehicle recycling. What started with passenger vehicles will continue to spread to other transport subsectors, such that the entire sector will be electrified sustainably over time.

Green hydrogen – a developing solution

Hydrogen will also provide storage capacity to complement batteries, particularly in areas with high demands on weight and energy density. This will enable the comprehensive electrification of heavy-duty vehicles, ships and even aircraft (where promising pilot projects have already been announced). Despite its potential for energy storage, hydrogen fuel as an energy source only makes sense if it is produced in a carbon-neutral manner— only ‘green hydrogen’ meets that criteria. It is produced in an electrolyzer using a carbon-free process consisting of water, electrolysis and renewable electricity. However, current electrolyzer units are unable to produce the volumes of hydrogen needed for large-scale, industrial demand; broader market penetration is still years away

As with batteries, advances in electrolyzer technologies will surmount present barriers to make green hydrogen competitive (relative to current carbon-based hydrogen production methods) by 2030 at the latest. An abundance of green hydrogen would enable the large-volume and seasonal storage of renewable energy which could then be used not only to decarbonize transportation, but also other energy-dependent industrial processes (like heat generation for buildings, fertilizer for crops, semiconductor manufacturing, and steel production).

No sector left behind – diversified long-term growth

With the election of Joe Biden, the international community appears united in its quest for a sustainable global energy economy. With firm government commitments worldwide, momentum is accelerating towards a cost-effective and sustainable energy transition that includes low-cost renewable energy, smart energy grids, adaptable energy storage, and energy-efficient technologies that help reduce energy consumption. 

With the world united in the fight against climate change, the global movement towards a sustainable energy supply is gaining considerable momentum

The future of energy is renewable, electric and efficient providing abundant investment opportunities across a diverse set of industry value chains. The RobecoSAM Smart Energy and Smart Mobility strategies offer investors exposure to these exciting trends in ‘decarbonization’ and ‘sustainable mobility’ that are driving us towards a clean energy future!

Important information

This information is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation.
The contents of this document have not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services license for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such license.
An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.

Logo

Important Information

Warning/Important note: This website contains information which is only available to qualified investors as defined below. If you are not a qualified investor, please click “I Disagree” to leave the website.

By clicking on "I agree", I declare that: 

  • I am a qualified investor as defined under 1
  • I have read and understood the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimers as described under 2

1 - This website may only be accessed directly or indirectly by the following persons in Singapore:

1) “institutional investor” under section 304 of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289)(“SFA”), which means:
(i) the Government; (ii) a statutory board as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (iii) an entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by a central government of a country and whose principal activity is (A) to manage its own funds; (B) to manage the funds of the central government of that country (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country); or (C) to manage the funds (which may include the reserves of that central government and any pension or provident fund of that country) of another entity that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of that country; (iv) any entity (A) that is wholly and beneficially owned, whether directly or indirectly, by the central government of a country; and (B) whose funds are managed by an entity mentioned in sub-paragraph (iii); (v) a central bank in a jurisdiction other than Singapore; (vi) a central government in a country other than Singapore; (vii) an agency (of a central government in a country other than Singapore) that is incorporated or established in a country other than Singapore; (viii) a multilateral agency, international organisation or supranational agency as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (ix) a bank that is licensed under the Banking Act (Cap.19); (x) a merchant bank that is approved as a financial institution under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap.186); (xi) a finance company that is licensed under the Finance Companies Act (Cap.108); (xii) a company or co-operative society that is licensed under the Insurance Act (Cap.142) to carry on insurance business in Singapore; (xiii) a company licensed under the Trust Companies Act (Cap.336); (xiv) a holder of a capital markets services licence; (xv) an approved exchange; (xvi) a recognised market operator; (xvii) an approved clearing house; (xviii) a recognised clearing house; (xix) a licensed trade repository; (xx) a licensed foreign trade repository; (xxi) an approved holding company; (xxii) a Depository as defined in section 81SF of the SFA; (xxiii) an entity or a trust formed or incorporated in a jurisdiction other than Singapore, which is regulated for the carrying on of any financial activity in that jurisdiction by a public authority of that jurisdiction that exercises a function that corresponds to a regulatory function of the Authority under this Act, the Banking Act (Cap.19), the Finance Companies Act (Cap.108), the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap.186), the Insurance Act (Cap.142), the Trust Companies Act (Cap.336) or such other Act as may be prescribed by regulations made under section 341 of the SFA; (xxiv) a pension fund, or collective investment scheme, whether constituted in Singapore or elsewhere; (xxv) a person (other than an individual) who carries on the business of dealing in bonds with accredited investors or expert investors; (xxvi) the trustee of such trust as the Authority may prescribe, when acting in that capacity; or; (xxvii) such other person as the Authority may prescribe.

2) “relevant person” under section 305(1) of the SFA, which means:
(i) An accredited investor; (ii) a corporation the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; (iii) a trustee of a trust the sole purpose of which is to hold investments and each beneficiary of which is an individual who is an accredited investor; (iv) an officer or equivalent person of the person making the offer (such person being an entity) or a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of that officer or equivalent person; or (v) a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of the person making the offer (such person being an individual).

3) any person who acquires the units [in a collective investment scheme] as principal if the offer is on terms that the units may only be required at a consideration of not less than $200,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) for each transaction, whether such amount is to be paid for in cash or by exchange of units in a collective investment scheme, securities, securities-based derivatives contracts or other assets, and if the following condition is satisfied: (i) the offer is not accompanied by an advertisement making an offer or calling attention to the offer or intended offer; (ii) no selling or promotional expenses are paid or incurred in connection with the offer other than those incurred for administrative or professional services, or by way of commission or fee for services rendered by any of the persons specified in section 302B(1)(d)(i) to (vi) of the SFA; and (iii) no prospectus in respect of the offer has been registered by the Authority or, where a prospectus has been registered (A) the prospectus has eAccxpired pursuant to section 299 of the SFA; or (B) the person making the offer has before making the offer 1. informed the Authority by notice in writing of its intent to make the offer in reliance on the exemption under this subsection; and 2. taken reasonable steps to inform in writing the person to whom the offer is made that the offer is made in reliance on the exemption under this subsection.

4) Or otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA.

If you are not any of the types of persons described above, you are not authorized to enter this website and you should leave this website immediately.

2 Terms and Conditions
You acknowledge that you have read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) prior to accessing the website located at www.robeco.com/sg (“Website”) and you agree to be bound by the Terms.  If you do not agree to all of the Terms, you are not an authorised user and you should not use the Website. The Website is owned by Robeco Singapore Private Limited (company registration number: UEN. 201541306Z), which is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) pursuant to the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) (“SFA”) of Singapore, and is managed by Robeco Singapore Private Limited and/or its affiliates (collectively, as “Robeco”). The Website is intended for and should be accessed by institutional investors or accredited investors (as defined under Section 4A of the SFA) of Singapore.  The Website is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject the Robeco to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction.  It is your responsibility to observe all applicable laws, rules and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction. The content contained in the Website is owned by Robeco and/or its information providers and is protected by applicable copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and/or other intellectual property rights.  You may not copy, distribute, modify, post, frame or link the Website, including any text, graphics, video, audio, software code, user interface, design or logos.  You may not distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, repost, or use the content of the Website for public or commercial use, including all text, images, audio and/or video.  Robeco may terminate your access to the Website for any reason, without prior notice. Neither Robeco, nor any of its associates, nor any director, officer or employee accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the access of the Website.  You agree to indemnity and hold Robeco, its associates, directors, officers or employees harmless against any and all claims, losses, liability, costs and expenses arising from your use of the Website due to violation of the Terms. Robeco reserves the right to change, modify, add or remove any parts of the Terms at any time and for any reason.  The Terms shall deemed to be effective immediately upon posting. The Terms shall be governed by, and shall be construed in accordance with, the law of Singapore.

Disclaimers
The Website has not been reviewed by the MAS. Accordingly, the Website may not be accessed directly or indirectly to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 304 of the SFA, (ii) to a relevant person pursuant to Section 305(1), or any person pursuant to Section 305(2), and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 305, of the SFA, or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. 

Nothing in the Website constitutes tax, accounting, regulatory, legal or investment advice.  The Website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation or for the purpose of soliciting any action in relation to Robeco’s businesses, or solicitation by anyone in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is not authorised or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer and solicitation. Any reproduction or distribution of information from the Website, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Robeco, is prohibited.  By accessing to the Website, you agree to the foregoing.  

The funds referred to in the Website are for information only.  It is not a recommendation or investment advice, nor does it mean the funds is suitable for all investors.  The contents of the website is not reviewed by the MAS.  Any decision to participate in the funds should be made only after reviewing the sections regarding investment considerations, conflicts of interest, risk factors and the relevant Singapore selling restrictions.  You should consult your professional adviser if you are in doubt about the stringent restrictions applicable to the use of the Website, regulatory status of the funds, applicable regulatory protection, associated risks and suitability of the funds to your objectives.

Any decisions made based on the information contained in the Website are the sole responsibility of yours.  Any investments made or to be made shall be with your independent analyses based on your financial situation and objectives.  The investments and strategies contained in the Website may not be suitable for all investors and are not guaranteed by Robeco.  

Investment involves risks and may lose value.  Historical returns are provided for illustrative purposes only and do not necessarily reflect Robeco’s expectations for the future.  The value of your investments may fluctuate.  Past performance is no indication of current or future performance.  The Website may contain projections or other forward looking statements regarding future events or future financial performance of countries, markets or companies and such projection or forecast is not indicative of the future.  The information contained in the Website, including any data, projections and underlying assumptions are based upon certain assumptions, management forecasts and analysis of information available on an “as is” basis and without warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, and reflects prevailing conditions and Robeco’s views as of the date published or indicated, and maybe superseded by subsequent events or for other reasons.  The information contained in the Website are accordingly subject to change at any time without notice and Robeco are under no obligation to notify you of any of these changes.  Robeco expressly disclaims all liability for errors and omissions in the information presented in the Website and for the use or interpretation by others of information contained in the Website.

Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services licence for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such licence.  An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.

I Disagree