World governments have failed to accelerate and scale up renewable energy adoption quickly enough to meet the climate action goals set out in the Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency said in a recent report titled Energy Technology Perspectives.
The authority concedes that the world has progressed substantially to a cleaner energy environment, but governments need to do a lot more in terms of providing financial and legislative support for energy technology.
Right now, only 10 percent of renewable energy technology is up to the task of meeting Paris Agreement targets, which basically boil down to curbing the average global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, from pre-industrial times. The more ambitious target is keeping this rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The report analyzed 26 energy technologies, including electric cars, solar and wind power, and energy storage systems, and found that only three out of these—e-cars, onshore wind, and solar PV—can meet the targets.
Still, if the innovation drive in green technologies is given a sufficient spur, it is possible for the global power generation industry to stop emitting carbon dioxide by 2060. This, however, will “require an unprecedented level of policy action and effort from all stakeholders.”
So far, power generation capacity from renewable sources has been growing fast, but it needs to grow even faster if the targets are to be achieved. Between 2010 and 2015, this capacity expanded by 30 percent, and the growth rate between 2016 and 2020 is also forecast at the same level. This will need to rise to 40 percent for the period between 2020 and 2025, the IEA warned.
Nuclear generation capacity also needs to grow, by some 20 GW annually, to meet the 2-degree target. Last year, this capacity rose by 10 GW, the highest annual growth rate since 1990, Reuters noted.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.