Is the IEA still underestimating the growth of renewable energy? The new report released yesterday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has outlined a massive, rapid and significant rise in renewable energy around the world to meet a target of net zero global emissions by 2050. The key headline from the report is that it calls for an end to fossil fuel exploration and the stopping of all new fossil infrastructure to align with a 1.5°C global climate target and reach net zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050. However, the report also outlines some significant changes in renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, required in the coming years and decades. In conjunction with significant global energy demand reductions from energy efficiency, behavioural change and resource efficiency, two thirds of total energy supply in 2050 comes from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and hydro power. Wind and solar comprise the bulk of this. Annual additions of 630 gigawatts of solar PV and 390 gigawatts of wind by 2030, four times the levels now, are required. As shown in a webinar response to the report by analytics firm Ember, this entails a scaling up of wind and solar within an extremely short time frame: the IEA is expecting a rate of growth of solar deployment of 22% per year in the next decade. “But after 2030, they expect that declines to 8% a year for the next decade. And then 3% after 2040. Neither of those numbers I would suggest is credible.
Renew Economy 19th May 2021 read more »
International Energy Agency IEA 1.5˚C pathway – initial comments from Sven Teske, Associate Professor and Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. “For the first time, the IEA clearly states that investment in fossil fuels needs to stop. This is probably the most important outcome of the new IEA publication. It is a very significant finding. New investment in fossil fuels will end up as stranded investments. The finance industry will have to adjust their investment policies immediately.” Solar and wind power will become the main pillar not only for the global electricity demand, but for the global energy supply – including energy for transport, industry and heating”, say Associate Professor Dr Sven Teske from the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. However, the IEA also states that “half the reductions come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration or prototype phase”. “I strongly disagree with that statement”, says Teske. “The IEA still relies on unproven carbon capture and storage technologies. To take CO2 out of the atmosphere is technical and economically much harder than avoiding the emission in the first place. “The main technologies to decarbonise the global energy system are market ready and are either already cost competitive or will be within the next five to 10 years. They are: solar and wind technologies, battery technologies, electric mobility and various technologies to provide industrial process heat. There is no need to wait for more research, the transition to a full renewable energy supply until 2050 can start now.”
Institute for Sustainable Futures 18th May 2021 read more »
Development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year if the world is to meet its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the leading energy organisation has said. In a stark warning about the need to cut fossil fuel consumption, the International Energy Agency (IEA) called for a massive jump in investment in low carbon technologies: from 1.42tn a year today to £3.54 tn by 2030.
Drill or Drop 18th May 2021 read more »
The International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario puts too much faith in technologies that are “uncertain, untested or unreliable” and fails to reflect both the size and scope of the contribution that nuclear technologies could make, World Nuclear Association said today. “Given that more than 60% of the world’s electricity is currently generated by fossil fuels, if we are to eliminate them in less than 30 years, the IEA’s assessment of the role of nuclear is highly impractical,” it said.
World Nuclear News 18th May 2021 read more »