Renewable energy to become world’s second-largest power generation source by 2015, says IEA

The global energy map is changing “in dramatic fashion”, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today, as it launched the 2012 edition of its World Energy Outlook.

While it’s America’s push on oil and gas production, rather than renewable energy, making the most impact globally, the agency predicts that renewables will become the world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015 and close in on coal as the primary source by 2035.

However, this rapid increase in the role of renewable energy for power generation “hinges critically on continued subsidies”. In 2011, subsidies for renewables (including for biofuels) amounted to $88 billion – over the period to 2035 they need to increase to $4.8 trillion, the IEA says. Over half of this has already been committed to existing projects or is needed to meet 2020 targets.

Greenpeace quickly picked up on the fact that the IEA’s forecast “shows more work [is] needed to avoid catastrophic climate change”. Government ambition on developing renewable energy is “seriously inadequate” to meet their promises to hold the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, said Sven Teske, energy campaigner with Greenpeace International.

“Renewable energy must grow to 65% of electricity production and energy efficiency must increase by 2035 to reduce the impact of climate change. Otherwise, based on this forecast, the world is still headed for a catastrophic temperature increase of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius,” he said.

The IEA’s new policy scenario, the main analytical scenario underpinning its World Energy Outlook, shows that … read more here.

About Gail Shameza Rajgor

Gail Rajgor is a business journalist and editor specialising in global energy and environment issues. Her current clients include Energy Demand (Editor) and Renewable Energy Focus (Editorial Consultant and Renewables Analyst). With a career spanning the last 20 years, previous positions include Managing Editor of Renewable Energy Focus and Senior Editor of Windpower Monthly, while her freelance clients have included Renews, PV Insider, Wind Energy Update, and Tidal Today alongside general business magazines including Risk Specialist and Director. She has also produced her own magazine, Sustainable Energy Developments, in the past. Today, in addition to her freelance editorial roles, Gail is also a professional photographer running her own company Rage With A Smile Photography.
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