IEA: Renewables fastest growing energy sector

Renewable energy is now firmly entrenched as the world's fastest growing energy sector, according to a major new report from the International Energy Agency released this week.

The book, entitled Deploying Renewables 2011: Best and Future Policy Practice, analyses current trends in renewable energy and sets out a series of proposals designed to help governments develop effective renewable energy policy.

It also repeats the IEA's increasingly vocal predictions that several renewable energy technologies will become cost competitive with fossil fuels over the next decade, allowing renewables to emerge as the dominant energy technology.
"As the IEA's analysis has shown, without an urgent and radical change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system," said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven in a statement. "Renewables already play a central role in fostering sustainability and energy security, and their significance will only grow in the coming decades."

"A portfolio of renewable energy technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunity without the need for specific economic support," the report stated, adding that established hydro power, geothermal and bioenergy technologies are already cost-competitive with conventional energy in a wide range of circumstances, while the cost of solar and wind energy is falling fast.

The IEA report came as the UK's National Grid released new projections detailing how it expects the UK to generate over 30 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030.