Renewable power to eclipse natural gas within 3 years, says IEA

The International Energy Agency foresees renewable power generation eclipsing that of natural gas within three years in its latest report.

Clean power is set to eclipse gas-generated electricity by 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast in a report that challenges conventional knowledge about economic hurdles to renewables.

The number of gigawatts generated by hydro, solar, wind and other renewables is set to increase by 40 per cent in the coming five years, making them the fastest-growing segment in the global energy mix.

“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” Maria van der Hoeven, the executive director of the IEA, said at a presentation in New York.

“This is good news for a global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified, but it should not be an excuse for government complacency, especially among OECD countries."

The growth is to be driven by non-OECD countries, where two-thirds of the growth is set to take place.

Other analysts have said the push for clean energy adoption has slowed as the financial crisis takes precedence over climate change. Even in the Middle East, where ambitious targets have been floated by governments in Abu Dhabi, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, progress has not been as swift as initially planned.

The IEA, which represents the interests of 28 developing countries, cautioned that governments need to support renewables with clear-cut policies to encourage investment.

“They do still need long-term policies that provide a predictable and reliable market and regulatory framework compatible with societal goals,” she said. “And worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels remain six times higher than economic incentives for renewables.”

Published: June 27, 2013 04:00 AM


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