IEA Flagship Report Calls for Clean Energy Innovation
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The latest edition of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Energy Technology Perspectives stresses that concerted action on innovation in clean energy is the only way for the world to meet its climate goals.

The report, which examines long-term trends in the energy sector globally also finds significant, untapped potential for accelerating research and development in clean technologies, and describes supportive policy and market frameworks and increased investor confidence as priority deliverables.

energy_technology_perspectives4 May 2015: The latest edition of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Technology Perspectives stresses that concerted action on innovation in clean energy is the only way for the world to meet its climate goals. The report, which examines long-term trends in the energy sector globally also finds significant, untapped potential for accelerating research and development in clean technologies, and describes supportive policy and market frameworks and increased investor confidence as priority deliverables.

Titled ‘Energy Technology Perspectives 2015: Mobilising Innovation to Accelerate Climate Action,’ the IEA’s flagship annual energy technology report is published in the context of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, which is expected to “mark a turning point in global climate action.” The report notes that, while IEA analysis suggests a clean energy agenda is economically viable and leads to “an affordable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy future,” there is a need to accelerate innovation in energy technologies, including through policy support and market frameworks. It calls for decision makers to focus on the benefits of energy system transformations for society.

The report opens with chapters providing a global outlook and progress update on clean energy from the perspectives of various technologies, end-use sectors and solutions. The main part of the report, titled ‘Mobilising Innovation to Accelerate Climate Action,’ discusses: innovation in the context of transforming energy systems; mainstreaming renewable energy technologies in power markets; building on early opportunities of carbon capture and storage (CCS); industrial innovation; innovation in emerging economies; and innovation in China.

The main scenario presented in the report, ‘The 2-Degree Scenario’ (2DS), under which global increase in temperatures is limited to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, requires the annual rate of reduction in global energy intensity to more than double by 2050. IEA notes that currently many areas, such as electric vehicles and most renewable power technologies, are not on track towards the scenario’s targets, and progress overall towards 2DS remains insufficient.

The IEA highlights recent successes, including growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies uptake, and stresses the co-benefits of 2DS, including enhanced energy security and economic savings. According to the Agency, for every US$1 invested in clean energy technologies, nearly US$3 in fuel costs are avoided by 2050.

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven stressed that clean energy innovation is needed to “get us on the right path” to energy sustainability. She expressed optimism in noting that “the stakes are high for the energy sector, but it is no stranger to profound technological change,” and identified support to innovation and public-private partnerships as key to achieving energy technology breakthroughs to accelerate the low-carbon transition.

The executive summary of the report is available for download on the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives website. [IEA Press Release] [IEA Executive Director’s Speech] [Publication: Energy Technology Perspectives 2015: Executive Summary] [IEA Energy Technology Perspectives Website]

 


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