Renewables are set to become the world’s second largest source of power generation by 2015 with solar the fastest growing renewable technology, according to the International Energy Agency.
The IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012 goes on to say that renewables will account for one third of the total global electricity output by 2035. Driving the uptake of renewables will be falling technology costs, rising fossil fuel prices and carbon pricing. However, the main contributor will be continued subsidies but these subsidies need to be adjusted over time.
The report also highlights energy reduction targets by country. It notes China’s target to reduce its energy intensity by 16% by 2015 while the US has adopted new fuel economy standards. Meanwhile, the EU has committed to a cut of 20% in its 2020 energy demand and Japan aims to cut 10% from electricity consumption by 2030. Under this new policies scenario, these measures will help to speed up the slow progress in global energy efficiency seen over the last decade.