The International Energy Agency (IEA) said today the global energy supply is not getting cleaner, despite efforts to advance clean energy.
The Paris-based organisation, which represents some of the world’s largest energy consumers including the US, set targets last year to limit global warming to 2 C.
However a new report – Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2013 – found that the world is not on track to meet the required 50% cut in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
Although the growth of renewable power technologies continued in 2012, policy uncertainty is having a negative impact, especially on US and Indian wind investments.
Mature technologies including solar, onshore wind, biomass and hydro were the most dynamic renewable sectors and remained largely on track to meet interim 2020 targets.
Markets for renewable energy last year broadened beyond OECD countries, with emerging economies stepping up efforts in clean energy, but the report found global
policy development to be mixed.
China and Japan strengthened policies and targets for renewables in 2012, while other governments such as Germany, Italy and Spain scaled back incentives.
The study said coal continues to dominate growth in power generation, with increasing coal emissions behind the fall of only 1% in carbon dioxide production since 1990. Coal-fired generation, which rose by an estimated 6% from 2010 to 2012, continues to grow faster than non-fossil energy.
The agency said the report sent a stark message: “Progress has not been fast enough (and) considerable energy efficiency remains untapped, policies need to better address the energy system as a whole and energy-related research, development and demonstration need to accelerate.”
The IEA found positive news in last year’s hybrid-electric vehicle sales, which passed the one million mark. Solar systems were also being installed at a record pace, with the costs of most clean energy technologies falling more rapidly than anticipated.
The IEA was set up in 1974 to promote energy security among its 28 member countries and provide research on ways to ensure reliable, clean energy. Members include the US, Japan, Turkey and the UK.