IEA: Clean Energy lags behind that needed for two degrees target

By RTCC Staff

Global investment in clean energy falls short of that needed to meet climate change targets, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

While 2011 saw global investment in renewables hit a record of $257 billion, the IEA warns that $23.9 trillion will be needed in investments by 2020, and around £140 trillion by 2050 to keep temperature rises below 2°C.

While good progress is being made in onshore wind, offshore wind still lags behind warns report (© Jkavo/Creative Commons)

That means nations will have to spend $36 trillion more than what is currently predicted by 2050 – with China having spent the most.

The report says a host of new technologies are ready to transform energy systems, drastically cut emissions and enhance energy security, as well as offering a huge investment return.

But the IEA warn that the clean energy transformation is not on track to make its require contribution to fighting climate change.

“While our efforts to bring about a clean energy transformation are falling further behind, I want to stress the golden opportunity before us: If significant policy action is taken, we can still achieve the huge potential for these technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and boost energy security,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

“Now that we have identified the solution and the host of related benefits, and with the window of opportunity closing fast, when will governments wake up to the dangers of complacency and adopt the bold policies that radically transform our energy system? To do anything less is to deny our societies the welfare they deserve,” she said.

Hydro-power, biomass, onshore wind and solar photovoltaic technologies are all making progress, according to the report.

But technologies the IEA say have the largest potential, such as carbon capture and storage, offshore wind power and concentrated solar power, are showing the least progress and the report warns they are lagging behind what is needed to prevent a rise above 2°C.

Slow take up of energy efficiency measures will also need to be stepped up, says the report.

The report, Energy Technology Perspectives 2012, builds on the IEA’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress report issues in April.

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