The report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, highlights the rapid progress made in some renewable technologies, notably the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed by households and businesses and onshore wind technologies. In fact, onshore wind has seen 27 percent average annual growth over the past decade, and solar PV has grown at 42 percent, albeit from a small base. Even more impressive is the 75 percent 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, stated IEA.
The report notes that many technologies with great potential for energy and emissions savings are making halting progress at best. IEA said significant untapped energy-efficiency potential remains in the building and industry sectors.
“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.”
One policy recommendation that the agency offers is to unlock the potential of energy efficiency, which it calls the “hidden fuel” of the future. Making sure that energy is not wasted and that it is used in the best possible way is the most cost-effective action, said IEA, and must be the first step of any policy aimed at building a sustainable energy mix.
Publication date: 05/07/2012