08000123456

An energy transition is underway, says IEA

An energy transition is underway, says IEA

An energy transition is underway, says IEA

For many businesses, becoming more efficient and making greater use of renewable energy sources is a big priority.

As well as reducing adverse environmental impacts, boosting efficiency can help companies reduce the amount they pay for power.

Those organisations that are placing an emphasis on green improvements will welcome the latest World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which forecast a number of big developments in how countries across the globe generate and use power.

Published ahead of the COP21 climate summit, which will take place in Paris in December, the report highlighted "clear signs that an energy transition is underway", with sustainable power sources like solar and wind growing in prominence.

Renewables contributed almost half of the world's new power generation capacity last year and have become the second-largest source of electricity after coal.

Between now and 2040, sustainable methods are expected to become the leading source of new energy supply.

Regionally, renewables will account for 50 per cent of the energy mix in the EU by 2040, about 30 per cent in China and Japan, and more than 25 per cent in the US and India, according to the IEA's projections.

One of the key factors in this growth is mandatory energy efficiency regulation, which has been extended to cover more than a quarter of global energy consumption.

The report also noted that climate pledges submitted ahead of COP21 are "rich in commitments on renewables and energy efficiency".

Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, pointed out that the global energy industry is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, meaning it "must be at the heart" of action to tackle climate change.

"World leaders meeting in Paris must set a clear direction for the accelerated transformation of the global energy sector," he added.

"The IEA stands ready to support the implementation of an agreement reached in Paris with all of the instruments at our disposal, to track progress, promote better policies and support the technology innovation that can fulfil the world's hopes for a safe and sustainable energy future."

Looking at the wider picture in terms of global warming, the report predicted a long-term temperature increase of 2.7 degrees C by 2100, despite a dramatic decrease in the rate of growth in energy-related emissions.

The IEA said a "major course correction" is still needed to meet agreed climate objectives.

In the UK, the government has recently come in for criticism for removing subsidies and other forms of support for sustainable energy.

A recent consultation on a review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme - which incentivises the development of small-scale renewable technologies - attracted comment from the likes of Al Gore, the United Nations and the mayor of London.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said proposed cuts to the scheme had prompted "widespread outcry".

James Court, head of policy and external affairs at the REA, said: "The nation has shown its hunger for control over its own energy supply."

 

Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Thinkstock