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Climate pledges for COP21 slow energy sector emissions growth dramatically

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released on Wednesday a World Energy Outlook (WEO)special briefing that outlines the energy sector implications of national climate pledges submitted for the upcoming climate summit in Paris (COP21). The briefing finds that if all countries meet goals outlined in their submitted pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), growth in energy-related emissions– which account for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions –will slow to a relative crawl by 2030.

“The fact that over 150 countries – representing 90% of global economic activity and nearly 90% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – have submitted pledges to reduce emissions is, in itself, remarkable,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “These pledges, together with the increasing engagement of the energy industry, are helping to build the necessary political momentum around the globe to seal a successful climate agreement in Paris”

The WEO special briefing finds that all of the INDC submissions take into account energy sector emissions and many include specific targets or actions to address them. If these pledges are met, then countries currently accounting for more than half of global economic activity will see their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions either plateau or be in decline by 2030. Global energy intensity, a measure of energy use per unit of economic output, would improve to 2030 at a rate almost three times faster than the rate seen since 2000. In the power sector, 70% of additional electricity generation to 2030 would be low-carbon. Significantly, the power sector – the world’s largest source of energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions – sees emissions plateau at close to today’s levels, effectively breaking the link between rising electricity demand and rising related CO2 emissions.

The full implementation of these pledges will require the energy sector to invest $13.5 trillion in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies from 2015 to 2030, an annual average of $840 billion. However, despite these efforts, the pledges still fall short of the major course correction necessary to achieve the globally agreed climate goal of limiting average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.

“The energy industry needs a strong and clear signal from the Paris climate summit. Failing to send this signal will push energy investments in the wrong direction, locking-in unsustainable energy infrastructure for decades,” emphasised Dr Birol.

Achieving the ultimate climate goal will also hinge critically on innovation in the energy sector and on the deployment of new and emerging energy sector technologies that have the potential to deliver the transformational change needed to achieve deep levels of decarbonisation in the decades to come.

Download the World Energy Outlook special briefing for COP21.

To pre-order a copy of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015, click here.


Source: www.iea.org

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Czech Republic and IEA

‌The Czech Republic joined the IEA in 2001.

In-depth country review

The 2010 IEA review of the Czech Republic’s energy policies is now available for free download.

The Czech Republic, rich in coal resources, is the third-largest electricity exporter in the European Union. The energy sector plays an important role for the country’s economy and for the regional energy security. Since the previous IEA in-depth review in 2005, the Czech Republic has strengthened its energy policy, further liberalised its electricity and gas markets and made laudable efforts to enhance oil and gas security.

The Czech government has a unique opportunity to develop coherent and balanced energy and climate strategies as it currently updates its policy documents. The draft State Energy Concept concentrates on energy security and on maintaining the Czech Republic as a net electricity exporter, through a diversified energy mix and a maximised use of indigenous resources, comprising coal, uranium and renewable energy.

While the focus on energy security is praiseworthy, energy policy could be further improved. Energy policy should be better integrated with climate change considerations. At the same time, economic efficiency should be another key pillar of energy policy. To improve its energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing economic development, the Czech Republic could take measures to: improve energy efficiency and broaden demand-side measures; focus on low-carbon technologies; integrate electricity and natural gas markets regionally; and optimise needed new infrastructure.

The 2010 review analyses the energy challenges facing the Czech Republic and provides sectoral critiques and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.


Source: www.iea.org

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Renewables to lead world power market growth to 2020

As costs fall and emerging economies drive growth, IEA report sees major opportunities – but policy uncertainties remain.

Renewable energy will represent the largest single source of electricity growth over the next five years, driven by falling costs and aggressive expansion in emerging economies, the IEA said Friday in an annual market report. Pointing to the great promise renewables hold for affordably mitigating climate change and enhancing energy security, the report warns governments to reduce policy uncertainties that are acting as brakes on greater deployment.

“Renewables are poised to seize the crucial top spot in global power supply growth, but this is hardly time for complacency,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol as he released the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 (MTRMR) at the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting. “Governments must remove the question marks over renewables if these technologies are to achieve their full potential, and put our energy system on a more secure, sustainable path.”

Renewable electricity additions over the next five years will top 700 gigawatts (GW) – more than twice Japan’s current installed power capacity. They will account for almost two-thirds of net additions to global power capacity – that is, the amount of new capacity that is added, minus scheduled retirements of existing power plants. Non-hydro sources such as wind and solar photovoltaic panels (solar PV) will represent nearly half of the total global power capacity increase.

The report sees the share of renewable energy in global power generation rising to over 26% by 2020 from 22% in 2013 – a remarkable shift in a very limited period of time. By 2020, the amount of global electricity generation coming from renewable energy will be higher than today’s combined electricity demand of China, India and Brazil.

The report says the geography of deployment will increasingly shift to emerging economies and developing countries, which will make up two-thirds of the renewable electricity expansion to 2020. China alone will account for nearly 40% of total renewable power capacity growth and requires almost one-third of new investment to 2020.

Declining costs drive growth

Renewable generation costs have declined in many parts of the world due to sustained technology progress, improved financing conditions and expansion of deployment to newer markets with better resources. Announced prices for long-term generation contracts at reduced levels are emerging in areas as diverse as Brazil, India, the Middle East, South Africa and the United States. As such, some countries and regions now have the potential to leapfrog to a development paradigm mainly based on increasingly affordable renewable power. This is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Affordable renewables are set to dominate the emerging power systems of the world,” Dr. Birol said. “With excellent hydro, solar and wind resources, improving cost-effectiveness and policy momentum, renewables can play a critical role in supporting economic growth and energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, meeting almost two-thirds of the region’s new demand needs over the next five years.”

Still, the MTRMR highlights risks. Financing remains key to achieving sustained investment. Regulatory barriers, grid constraints, and macroeconomic conditions pose challenges in many emerging economies. In industrialised countries, the rapid deployment of renewables requires scaling down fossil-fired power plants, putting incumbent utilities under pressure. Wavering policy commitments to decarbonisation and diversification in response to such effects can undermine investor confidence and retroactive changes can destroy it. Consequently, global growth in the report’s main case forecast is not as fast as it could be – and annual installations level off, falling short of what’s needed to put renewables on track to meet longer-term climate change objectives.

The report includes an accelerated case that assesses the impacts of enhanced policy frameworks in key countries, finding that this could boost global cumulative renewable power growth by 25% above the main case, with rising annual installations. An improving picture for renewables can have positive ramifications for global climate change negotiations. At the same time, a clear, supportive outcome from the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris in December could create a virtuous cycle for renewable deployment by increasing long-term policy vision and predictability.

But the accelerated case requires more coherent and committed policy action. “To be sure, system and grid integration will be crucial for enabling high levels of wind and solar PV. The IEA remains at the forefront of addressing these issues, including possible impacts on electricity security,” concluded Dr. Birol. “But while variability of renewables is a challenge that energy systems can learn to adapt to, variability of policies poses a far greater risk.”

The Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and – as of 2013 – energy efficiency. The report is for sale by the IEA bookshop. Accredited journalists who would like more information or who wish to receive a complimentary copy should contact ieapressoffice@iea.org.

To download the executive summary of the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015, please click here. Also available in Chinese here.

To view IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol’s presentation at the launch of the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015, please click here.


Source: www.iea.org