It’s an habit, the prestigious International Energy Agency releases each November its famous flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Let’s review here the main findings and reactions.
To the IEA , an important effort will have to be done as ” No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal “
This means that we are indeed going to go for low carbon alternatives and that our binge of fossil fuels will have to stop VERY quickly.
Indeed, the IEA believes that the United States would be exporting natural gas by 2020 and become “almost self-sufficient” in energy by 2035 thanks to its unconventional fossil fuels reserves. As you could imagine, this would spell D I S A S T E R for our climate.
Another source of worry, fossil fuels subsidies jumped in 2011. Not only did they increase – when we have seen all to clearly that they have to disappear as soon as possible – they did so by a whopping 30% to $523 billion…
Energy efficiency has once again be highlighted as a perfect fit for our current problems ( just as the previous WEO did ) As a matter of fact efficiency
” can achieve energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of global demand in 2010. In other words, energy efficiency is just as important as unconstrained energy supply, and increased action on efficiency can serve as a unifying energy policy that brings multiple benefits.” (source)
This is why Fatih Birol – Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics, International Energy Agency – says he would be betting on efficiency as the most promising energy alternative.
Among those bad omens for our civilization, a glimpse of hope as the IEA believes that by 2035, energy generation from renewables will rival with coal. As Renewable Energy World stated :
Wind farms, solar parks and hydroelectric dams are forecast to become the second biggest power generator in 2015 and rise to almost a third of all generation in 2035, a level approaching that of coal, the Paris-based agency that advises 28 nations on energy policy said today in its annual outlook.
“A steady increase in hydropower and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power has cemented the position of renewables as an indispensable part of the global energy mix,” the IEA said. “The rapid increase in renewable energy is underpinned by falling technology costs, rising fossil-fuel prices and carbon pricing, but mainly by continued subsidies.”
On a similar news, I just read that wind alone could be responsible for 20 percent of global electricity by 2030 according to a major Global Wind Energy Council report.
To continue reading about this WEO, here are a few articles from TreeHugger, Climate Progress and Nature.