IEA Reports Accelerated Growth of Renewables
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The International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the ‘Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015,' which assesses market trends for renewable energy in the electricity, transport and heating sectors.

The report also identifies drivers and challenges to renewables' deployment and projects their growth through 2020.

The report, launched during the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2015, further assesses potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power.

IEA2 October 2015: The International Energy Agency (IEA) launched a report, titled ‘Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015,’ which assesses market trends for renewable energy in the electricity, transport and heating sectors. The report also identifies drivers and challenges to renewables’ deployment and projects their growth through 2020. The report, launched during the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2015, further assesses potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power.

The report explains that renewable power expanded at its fastest rate in 2014 and now represents more than 45% of additions to the energy supply. It finds that deployment is shifting towards emerging markets, where countries, such as China and India, are increasing their renewable energy ambitions. In addition, it finds that technological progress, expansion into newer markets and improved financing conditions are facilitating more cost-effective deployment for such technologies as solar photovoltaics (PV) and onshore wind.

However, the report cautions that policy uncertainties remain. In some countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), for example, renewable deployment can add market pressure to utilities struggling to deal with stagnating electricity demand. In addition, regulatory, grid and financing conditions represent challenges to the growth of renewables in emerging markets. Progress in the transport and heating sectors remains comparably slow, with advanced biofuels and renewable heating technologies requiring enhanced policy attention to scale up.

More specifically, the report includes sections that discuss, inter alia: shifting technology and geographical drivers of renewable power deployment; cost effectiveness of renewable power; the importance of enhanced policy and market frameworks for continued growth; unique challenges of renewable energy data; global outlooks for technology and investment; and biofuels for transport and renewable heat.

In addition, the report has sections on: renewable energy in OECD and non-OECD countries; global technologies for renewable electricity; investment in renewable power; renewable transport; and renewable heat.

The report explains that: renewables are expected to be the largest source of net additions to power capacity over the medium term; and enhanced renewable policies can help meet long-term climate change goals.

The report outlines enhanced policy changes, such as: a clear signal in the US on the durability of federal tax incentives and the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan; clarification of renewable policy uncertainties in some markets where renewables are beginning to accelerate, such as Mexico and Turkey; and implementation of fair rules for sharing benefits from distributed solar PV.

The report also outlines enhanced policy changes that would be required in developing countries, including: measures to reduce regulatory barriers and improve the system and grid integration of variable renewables, particularly distributed solar PV; improved market access and strengthened financial sustainability in the power sector through the removal of fossil fuel subsidies; and improved financing conditions with greater stakeholder consultation during policy design.

The report contends that, while energy security and local sustainability concerns motivate the desire for enhanced policies, improved renewable affordability can also positively impact on climate change negotiations. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015]