Need to expedite the RE growth: IEA

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Despite technological progress, most of the clean energy technologies are not being deployed quickly enough to expedite the growth of the renewable energy sector, says the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest annual report.

The report- ‘Tracking Clean Energy Progress”- which was presented at the third Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in London, applauds the progress being made in the clean energy sector, but at the same time urges for enhanced support.

The report said that a rapid progress has been made in some renewable technologies, notably the solar panels (solar PV) easily installed by households and businesses and in onshore wind technologies. It said that onshore wind has seen 27 per cent average annual growth over the past decade, and solar PV has grown at 42 per cent, albeit from a small base. Even more impressive is the 75 per cent 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.

Despite all the advances made in the sector, the report says that it was unfortunate that most clean energy technologies were not on track to make their required contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. Commenting over the need for clean energy, IEA Deputy Executive Director Ambassador Richard H Jones, said, “We have a responsibility and a golden opportunity to act. 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.”

The report, which Ambassador Jones presented to ministers and representatives of nations that together account for four-fifths of global energy demand, urged aggressive policy action on the part government energy agency leaders and other CEM attendees to take full advantage of the benefits offered by clean energy technologies. In sounding the alarm over the report’s findings, Ambassador Jones stressed the positive role the CEM can play in improving the situation.

According to IEA, renewables are now the fastest-growing sector of the energy mix and offer great potential to address issues of energy security and sustainability, but their rapid deployment is the need of the hour. Through its latest report, IEA wants to urge the governments and policy makers to pursue aggressive policy action to take full advantage of the benefits offered by clean energy technologies.

IEA has even recommended certain points which could be taken into account to enhance the clean energy growth. It says that there should be a level the playing field for clean energy technologies. There is also need for unlocking the potential of energy efficiency, making sure that energy is not wasted and that it is used in the best possible way is the most cost-effective action. Finally, it recommends for an accelerated energy innovation and public support for research, development and demonstration.

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