The world needs to ramp up adoption of renewable energy, especially beyond the electric power sector — or else it will fall behind in the battle against climate change, the International Energy Agency said on Sunday.
In a new report, the Paris-based policy adviser forecasts that renewable energy sources will provide 30 percent of the world’s total electric power generation by 2023. But electricity is just one piece of the pie: Five years from now, renewables will only account for 12.4 percent of the world’s total energy demand, the IEA said.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said the low penetration of renewables for transportation and heat in homes and industry — where most of the world’s energy is consumed — is a major “blind spot” that needs to be addressed.
“Indeed, their role in heat and transport is often overlooked even though decarbonising these sectors is a key priority to achieve our long-term climate and sustainability goals,” Birol wrote in the IEA’s 2018 report on renewable energy.
At the current pace of development, renewables will only account for 18 percent of the energy the world uses by 2040. That is far short of the 28 percent threshold the IEA believes is necessary to mitigate the impacts of climate change, produce cleaner air and provide access to modern energy around the world.
IEA says renewable energy could grow 25 percent faster, if governments enact policies and regulations that give companies and investors confidence to invest in clean energy.
The group now expects renewables to meet 40 percent of new global energy demand between 2018 and 2023.
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