Renewables share in energy mix to exceed gas, nuclear by 2016: IEA

28 Jun 2013


Prospects for renewable energy sources like solar, wind and water, seem to be bright with power generation from such renewables set to exceed that of gas and nuclear by 2016, according to a report published yesterday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Maria Van Der Hoeven"As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation," IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement.

The report's publication comes after a speech Tuesday by US president Barack Obama wherein he spelt out a plan to counter climate change by limiting greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and increasing federal reliance on renewable energy sources.

"I'm setting a new goal," Obama said. "Your federal government will consume 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources within the next seven years."

The IEA report, was unveiled by Van der Hoeven as she delivered the keynote address at a Wall Street renewable energy finance forum in New York.

The report analyzes market trends for renewable electricity in over 20 countries and regions. According to the report renewable power will increase by 40 per cent in the next five years.

The report projects that renewables would constitute almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, up from an estimated 20 per cent in 2011.

According to commentators the findings come as yet another indication of renewables increasingly rivaling fossil fuels on price without subsidy with the declining cost of wind and solar technologies. The report suggests ways that governments could do more to reduce pollution blamed for global warming.

''Many renewables no longer require high economic incentives,'' Van der Hoeven said.

Emerging markets are expected to be the largest drivers of the growth for renewables over the next few years, with China accounting for 40 per cent, or about 310 Gw of new capacity. About 58 per cent of total renewable generation in 2018 would come in nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, up from 54 per cent in 2012, according to the IEA.

Reiterating the IEA's push for nations to end fossil fuel subsidies, Van der Hoeven, noted incentives for coal, oil and gas in 2011 ''globally were six times higher than renewables'' and that ''carbon intensity of energy has barely budged in the past 20 years.''

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