IEA: Energy produced today as dirty as 20 years ago

  • Maria van der Hoeven highlighted the progress of solar PV as one of the few bright spots in a stark report for Clean Energy Ministerial. Image credit: David Eerdmans at nl.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons.
    Maria van der Hoeven highlighted the progress of solar PV as one of the few bright spots in a stark report for Clean Energy Ministerial. Image credit: David Eerdmans at nl.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned delegates at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) that global efforts to decarbonise energy have completely stagnated.

Addressing ministers representing countries responsible for four-fifths of global greenhouse-gas emissions, IEA executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, told CEM: “The drive to clean up the world’s energy system has stalled. Despite much talk by world leaders, and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago.”

A new report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, published by the IEA shows that the average amount of carbon dioxide emitted to provide a tonne of oil equivalent in 1990 was 2.39 tonnes, by 2010 this figure stood at 2.37 tonnes.

Van der Hoeven added: “As world temperatures creep higher due to ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide – two thirds of which come from the energy sector – the overall lack of progress should serve as a wake-up call,”

The IEA has warned that we “cannot afford another 20 years of listlessness.”

Despite the bleak outlook, the progress of solar PV technology was highlighted by the IEA as a positive sign. From 2011 to 2012, solar PV grew by 42% despite ongoing policy turbulence and economic issues.  

Van der Hoeven concluded: “We need a rapid expansion in low-carbon energy technologies if we are to avoid a potentially catastrophic warming of the planet but we must also accelerate the shift away from dirtier fossil fuels.”

Newsletter

Preview Latest
Subscribe
We won't share your details - promise!

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 23rd Edition

    This issue of Photovoltaics International, our 23rd, offers key insights into some of the technologies that are ready to move from lab to fab in support of these goals. ISC Konstanz offer a glimpse of what the low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells of the future might look like. On page 35 the institute’s authors give an overview of what they call Konstanz’ “technology zoo”, encompassing their so-called BiSoN, PELICAN and ZEBRA cell concepts, all of which are aimed at increasing energy yield at the lowest possible cost.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2013 Production Annual

    In the ever-changing global solar markets, cost reduction and measures to increase cell efficiencies are the key tools available to PV manufacturers to create new opportunities and drive your business to the next level. Manufacturing the Solar Future 2013 is the third in the Photovoltaics International PV Production Annual series, delivering the next instalment of in-depth technical manufacturing information on PV production processes designed to help you gain the competitive edge.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media