Most technologies and sectors ‘not keeping pace with long-term energy goals’

The International Energy Agency suggests many types of energy asset are not adequately working towards tackling climate change and delivering energy access

Energy technologies

Most technologies and sectors are not keeping pace with the long-term goals of the clean energy transition.

That’s according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which suggests many types of energy asset are not adequately working towards its Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) targets to tackle climate change, deliver energy access and slash air pollution.

The organisation has published a new report in which it assesses 45 energy technologies and sectors – it has judged only seven are on track with where they should be.

The areas which have shown progress in the last year include the energy storage market, which saw new installations double, led by South Korea, China, the US and Germany, as well as electric vehicles (EVs) which saw global sales hit a record two million, the bulk of these in China.

It highlights that rail also remained one of the most energy-efficient forms of transport, accounting for 8% of motorised passenger movements and 7% of freight movements around the world, whilst producing only 2% of transport energy use.

In terms of clean and low carbon power generation, solar was graded as ‘on track’ with a 31% increase in generation, despite capacity additions levelling off, with bioenergy was praised for seeing generation last year increase by more than 8%.

The IEA notes despite renewable electricity generation rising by 7% in 2018, with renewables making up 26% of the global mix, renewable power as a whole still needs to expand significantly to meet the SDS goal of providing half of all generation by 2030 – stalling capacity growth in 2018 for the first time since 2001 is expected to prove an obstacle.

The report shows coal generation increased 3% last year, for the first time exceeding the 10,000TWh mark and cementing it firmly in place as the largest source of power, making up 38% of total generation.

It suggests geothermal, tidal and concentrated solar technologies are not being developed or deployed fast enough and highlights the oil and gas industry is behind progress on reducing flaring and methane emissions, which are responsible for around 7% of the energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Fossil fuels also still make up a large proportion of heating, which contributed to the building sector’s emissions rising again in 2018 to an all-time high, due largely to more extreme weather driving heating and cooling demand.

More positively, LED lighting now makes up 40% of the global market, the same share of global residential sales as less-efficient fluorescent lamps.

Technologies for energy users that can help them reduce costs and emissions will be among those on display at The Energy Solutions Show (TESS)  on June 5th at Millennium Point, Birmingham.

If you wish to register as a delegate for free, you can send an e-mail here.

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