IEA World Energy Outlook: Renewables Leading New Energy Supply by 2030s
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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released the 2015 edition of the 'World Energy Outlook' (WEO-2015).

Based on intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) submitted in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, WEO-2015 concludes that renewables will become the leading source of new energy supply worldwide, overtaking coal as the largest source of electricity generation by the early-2030s.

The report estimates that, by 2040, renewables-based generation will reach 50% in the EU and around 30% in China and Japan, and surpass 25% in the US and India.

IEA10 November 2015: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released the 2015 edition of the ‘World Energy Outlook’ (WEO-2015). Based on intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) submitted in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, WEO-2015 concludes that renewables will become the leading source of new energy supply worldwide, overtaking coal as the largest source of electricity generation by the early-2030s. The report estimates that, by 2040, renewables-based generation will reach 50% in the EU and around 30% in China and Japan, and surpass 25% in the US and India.

The report includes an in-depth focus on India, as well as an analysis of the prospects for all fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency up to 2040. According to the IEA, Asia will constitute the highest demand of any region for every portion of the world’s energy mix in 2040, when China’s net oil imports will be five times those of the US and India’s will surpass those of the European Union.

The report finds that an extended period of lower oil prices would benefit consumers but trigger energy-security concerns by increasing reliance on a few low-cost producers, or risk a steep price rebound if investment falls short. WEO-2015 also finds that a “plunge in oil prices” can lead to a market rebalance, via higher demand and lower growth in supply.

WEO-2015 states that: world energy demand will grow by nearly one-third between 2013 and 2040, with net growth driven entirely by developing countries; links between global economic growth, energy demand and energy-related emissions will weaken; and all markets will adopt more energy efficient technologies, although a prolonged period of lower oil prices could undercut this. While lower oil prices in and of themselves would not significantly impact on the deployment of renewables, policymakers must be flexible regarding market rules, policies and subsidies.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol emphasized that the energy sector must be at the heart of global action to tackle climate change and that the negotiations in Paris must set a clear direction for transforming the global energy sector.

WEO projections are used by both the public and private sectors as a framework on which to base policy making, planning and investment decisions in order to achieve a sustainable energy future. [IEA Press Release] [WEO-2015 Webpage] [Publication: WEO-2015 Executive Summary]

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