50% of Electricity Must Come From Renewables by 2050 to Avert Global Warming: IEA

solar thermal plant spain photo

photo: Alejandro Flores

If the collective human we is to get a handle on cutting CO2 emissions, we have to seriously increase investment in renewable energy, the International Energy Agency has said. In a new study titled "Deploying Renewables: Principles for Effective Policies" the IEA has said that if global carbon emissions are to be cut by 50% by 2050 (which is less than the 80-100% CO2 reduction which is probably required..) then about 50% of the global electric supply must be generated from renewable sources. Here are the some of the steps the IEA says are necessary for this to happen:Five Key Renewable Energy Policy Principles
The IEA says the following principles are required to make renewable energy policy effective:

Removal of non-economic barriers, such as administrative hurdles, obstacles to grid access, poor electricity market design, lack of information and training and the tackling of social acceptance issues, with a view to overcome them—in order to improve market and policy functioning.

So basically educating and training people, legislatively putting renewables on equal footing with fossil fuels in terms of access to the grid, expanding the grid where required.

The need for a predictable and transparent support framework to attract investments.

Pretty much the exact opposite of current US renewable energy policy...

The introduction of transitional incentives, decreasing over time, to foster and monitor technological innovation and move technologies quickly towards market competitiveness.

...but a lot like the effective EEG renewable energy feed-in tariff law in Germany.

The development and implementation of appropriate incentives guaranteeing a specific level of support to different technologies based on their degree of technology maturity, in order to exploit the significant potential of the large basket of renewable energy technologies over time.

Again, long-term, predictably decreasing incentives, differing based on the exact method of energy generation...

The due consideration of the impact of large-scale penetration of renewable energy technologies on the overall energy system, especially in liberalized energy markets, with regard to overall cost efficiency and system reliability.

Make sure the energy mix is diversified to counter the inherent variability in any renewable energy system.

What's Needed to Make the Renewable Revolution Happen
In summarizing the steps need, IEA Executive Director Nubuo Tanaka said,

Governments need to take urgent action. We encourage them to develop carefully designed policy frameworks, customized to support technologies at differing stages of maturity, and eventually to apply appropriate incentives such as a carbon price for more mature renewables. Moving a strong portfolio of renewable energy technologies towards full market integration is one of the main elements needed to make the energy technology revolution happen.

In short, Mr Tanaka has simply reiterated that notion that there is no single renewable energy source appropriate for all times and places, and that a diversified approach is required. Go on him and the IEA, but in terms of CO2 reductions, we probably still need to do more than a 50% reduction and do it more quickly than in the next 40 years.

via :: IEA
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