While progress is being made on renewable energy, most clean energy technologies are not being deployed quickly enough, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today in an annual progress report presented to ministers and representatives of nations that together account for four-fifths of global energy demand.
The report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, highlighted the rapid progress made in some renewable technologies, notably the solar panels easily installed by households and businesses (solar PV) and in onshore wind technologies. In fact, onshore wind has seen 27% average annual growth over the past decade, and solar PV has grown at 42%, albeit from a small base. Even more impressive is the 75% reduction in system costs for solar PV in as little as three years in some countries. This serves as evidence that rapid technology change is possible. Unfortunately, however, the report concludes that most clean energy technologies are not on track to make their required contribution to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and thereby provide a more secure energy system.
“We have a responsibility and a golden opportunity to act,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Ambassador Richard H Jones.
“Energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs; under current policies, we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050. This would likely send global temperatures at least 6°C higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships – a legacy that I know none of us wishes to leave behind.”