IEA warns spending on clean energy must triple to curb climate change

Excessive volatility in power markets will current a continued threat until funding in clear energy is tripled within the subsequent decade, the pinnacle of the Worldwide Power Company warned, as he issued a name to arms for world leaders forward of the upcoming UN local weather summit.

Fatih Birol, IEA govt director, instructed the Monetary Instances that whereas projected funding in oil and fuel was now aligned with the modifications wanted to achieve internet zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, public spending on renewable energy was solely at a 3rd of the long run ranges required.

“There’s a gross mismatch, and the longer this mismatch persists, the better the danger of additional sharp value swings and elevated volatility sooner or later,” Birol stated.

Annual international power funding is about to rise to $1.9tn this yr, in accordance with the IEA, together with about $370bn on new renewable energy technology.

The warning got here because the Paris-based physique stated that even when all governments’ present internet zero pledges have been applied in full and on time, the world would solely obtain 20 per cent of the emissions cuts by 2030 wanted to maintain the objective of internet zero emissions by 2050 a chance.

Underneath that state of affairs, outlined in its annual World Power Outlook launched on Wednesday, international common temperatures would rise by 2.1C above pre-industrial ranges by 2100, far greater than the goal of a really perfect restrict of 1.5C specified by the 2015 Paris local weather accord.

After carbon emissions dropped steeply in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, this yr’s sturdy financial restoration meant that emissions have been on the right track for his or her second-largest ever annual improve, pushed partly by rising coal consumption, the IEA stated.

Fatih Birol
Fatih Birol stated public spending on renewable energy was solely at a 3rd of the long run ranges required © Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The fast return of financial exercise in a lot of the world has contributed to document costs for fuel and coal, and multiyear highs for oil, as provide has struggled to maintain up with demand.

However Birol sought to allay considerations that hovering power prices would check the world’s dedication to the power transition. In Europe, fuel costs have soared from about €14 per megawatt hour this time final yr to €87 per megawatt this month.

“There may be an inaccurate marketing campaign that’s saying we’re seeing the primary disaster attributable to clear power and that this could turn out to be a barrier for additional coverage motion to deal with local weather change. However that is positively not true,” he stated.

He argued that the present power market disruption was because of a confluence of things, together with an “unsustainable restoration” from the pandemic, climate circumstances and important fuel provide outages.

Birol urged negotiators on the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November to not let the power crunch have an effect on their decision-making, including that governments needed to give a “clear and unmistakable” dedication to quickly scaling up clear applied sciences.

So as to stand any probability of conserving international temperature rises below 2C, speedy motion was wanted over the subsequent decade to speed up the decarbonisation of energy technology, enhance power effectivity, reduce methane emissions and deal with carbon-intensive sectors akin to cement and heavy transport, he stated.

Chart showing European gas prices have hit all-time highs in October

COP26, the most important diplomatic face-to-face assembly since Covid-19, goals to finalise the implementation of the deal signed in Paris six years in the past, when virtually each authorities, 197 events in whole, agreed to carry international temperature rises to “nicely under” 2C above pre-industrial ranges.

Regardless of the outcomes of the assembly, Birol burdened that power markets have been set for basic modifications.

Even when governments make no additional local weather change commitments, international oil demand would peak “quickly after” 2025 at 97m barrels per day, and decline to 77m b/d by 2050, below the IEA’s so-called introduced pledges state of affairs.

Underneath that state of affairs, demand for pure fuel would additionally peak quickly after 2025 after which plateau, falling to three,850bn cubic metres in 2050, or simply under present ranges.

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