Spending on the transition to renewable energies “falls short” of what is needed to sustainably meet future demand: IEA.
Investment in renewables must triple by the end of the decade if the world is to effectively tackle climate change and keep volatile energy markets in check, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
“The world is not investing enough to meet its future energy needs … spending related to the transition is gradually increasing, but remains well below what is needed to meet the growing demand for energy services in a sustainable way,” said declared the IEA in its annual report. World Energy Outlook released Wednesday.
“Clear signals and guidance from decision makers are essential. If the road ahead is only paved with good intentions, then it will be a really bumpy race, ”he added.
The Paris-based watchdog released its annual World Energy Outlook earlier this year to guide the United Nations COP26 climate change conference that will begin later this month.
He called the upcoming meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, “a first test of countries’ willingness to submit new, more ambitious commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement” and “an opportunity to provide a” no-brainer signal. equivocation “which accelerates the transition to clean energy around the world”.
Need for a faster energy transition
In recent weeks, electricity prices have hit record highs as oil and natural gas prices hit multi-year highs and widespread energy shortages engulfed Asia, Europe and United States. Demand for fossil fuels is also picking up as governments relax restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The IEA has warned that renewables like solar, wind and hydroelectric power, as well as bioenergy, must be a much larger part of the rebound in energy investments after the pandemic.
Renewables will account for more than two-thirds of investment in new energy capacity this year, the IEA noted, but a significant gain in the use of coal and oil has caused the second annual increase in CO2 emissions responsible for the change. climate.
The IEA said a faster energy transition would better protect consumers in the future, as a commodity price shock would lower household costs by 30% in its most ambitious net zero emissions scenario. by 2050 (NZE) compared to its declared more conservative policy scenario (PAS).
Status quo vs net zero
Still, the leap needed to meet commitments made in the 2015 Paris Agreement to cap temperature increases as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times remains. vast.
Fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and oil – accounted for almost 80% of the world’s energy supply in 2020 and renewables only 12%.
To keep this increase close to 1.5 ° C, the IEA’s NZE forecast envisions these fossil fuels shrinking to just under a quarter of mid-century supply, and renewables ramping up. arrow more than two-thirds.
If the world stays on its current trajectory described by the STEPS scenario, temperatures will increase by 2.6 ° C (4.7 ° F) by 2100.
The IEA predicts for the first time a peak in oil demand in all its scenarios, in the mid-1930s in the STEPS forecast with a very gradual decline but in the NZE forecast to level off within 10 years and fall again by nearly three quarters by 2050.
Doubling down on the agency’s toughest warning yet on the future of fossil fuels it made in a May report, the IEA said its NZE image envisioned a drop in demand and a increase in low-emission fuels rendering new oil and gas fields unnecessary beyond 2021.
However, he said new oil fields would be needed in his two most conservative scenarios and provided advice to mitigate their climate impact, such as reducing methane flaring.
“Each data point showing the speed of energy change can be countered by another showing the stubbornness of the status quo,” the IEA warned.
“Today’s energy system is unable to meet these challenges; a low emissions revolution is long overdue.