It continues to be worthwhile to read IEA articles and commentaries on various energy developments.
In a recent article by the IEA (for details click here), the authors emphasise the fact that fossil fuel subsidies are creating an uneven playing field for clean energy. IEA organisation monitors energy prices that consumers pay around the world, and compares them with so-called reference prices. In this way the IEA estimates the size of subsidies over time.
In the context of aiming for a sustainable world, this article shows that there is still quite some work to do internationally.
Despite an interesting recent article in the Dutch FD (*), by Mathijs Bouman, on the accuracy of forecasting by IEA, I continue to find the IEA reports very worthwhile to read and reflect upon. There is indeed a potential danger that, in case forecasts are too pessimistic, this could create unwanted actions. Nevertheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry with all negative consequences. (*): the article published in FD (Financial Daily newspaper) on May 15, 2021 outlined the views of a columnist that the advance of solar energy is systematically underestimated by the IEA.
IEA reported, amongst others, the following insights:
“Climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – are well short of what’s required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050.”
“Our pathway requires the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies. That includes annual additions of solar PV to reaching 630 gigawatts by 2030, and those of wind power reaching 390 gigawatts. Together, that’s four times the record level set in 2020.”
“Most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions between now and 2030 in our net zero pathway come from technologies already on the market today. But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently only at the demonstration or prototype phase. This calls for major innovation progress this decade.”
“A rise in CO2 emissions of almost 5% in 2021 compared to 2020.”
“Global energy demand is set to increase by 4.6% in 2021, more than offsetting the 4% contraction in 2020 and pushing demand 0.5% above 2019 levels.”
“Demand for renewables grew by 3% in 2020 and is set to increase across all key sectors – power, heating, industry and transport – in 2021. The power sector leads the way, with its demand for renewables on course to expand by more than 8% in 2021.”
“Solar PV and wind are expected to contribute two-thirds of renewables’ growth.”
Food for thought when reading the latest message from the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, made at the opening of the recent 2-day Leaders’ Summit on Climate, who called on leaders everywhere to take urgent climate action: “Mother Nature is not waiting”, he said. “We need a green planet — but the world is on red alert.” Click here for more details.
The Summit is an important event on the road to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. It brought together decisionmakers and representatives of more than 40 countries covering more than 80% of global GDP, population and emissions. Focus was on the critical need for international collaboration and policy implementation to accelerate clean energy transitions. On May 18, the IEA will publish a wide-ranging roadmap for the global energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Good to continue monitoring these important developments.
We read with interest a recent article in the Dutch newspaper FD, in which prominent figures of the political party D66 advise the next Dutch government to seriously consider a role for nuclear energy from 2030. Our advice is to do this from a European perspective.
We would therefore like to recommend the politicians and readers of this website to also read the 2010 study by the European Climate Foundation (ECF). We have written about this before in previous blogs, but we would like to make reference to the Roadmap 2050 website again; https://www.roadmap2050.eu/. The various reports (Roadmap 2050 (click here), Power Perspective 2030 (click here)) also clearly describe the role of nuclear energy. We understand the concerns and questions about how to deal with radioactive waste, but we believe that responsible solutions are (will be) available.
The Dutch House of Representatives (“Tweede Kamer”) recently declared the bill to phase out the netting scheme for solar panels definitively controversial. The law will only be discussed in the House of Representatives after the upcoming national elections on March 17, 2021.
This development creates uncertainty for individual households and companies. On the other hand, people know that solar energy must be fully used. As part of a necessary energy transition and also necessary to achieve the Dutch climate goals. We can therefore assume that it will remain interesting for households and companies to invest in solar energy systems.
Follow the developments via the good newsletters from “Solar Magazine”; Click here for more information.
The Commission’s proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 sets Europe on a responsible path to becoming climate neutral by 2050.
Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission has proposed to increase the EU’s ambition on reducing greenhouse gases and set this more ambitious path for the next 10 years. The assessment shows how all sectors of the economy and society can contribute, and sets out the policy actions required to achieve this goal.
Set a more ambitious and cost-effective path to achieving climate neutrality by 2050
Stimulate the creation of green jobs and continue the EU’s track record of cutting greenhouse gas emissions whilst growing its economy
Encourage international partners to increase their ambition to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C and avoid the most severe consequences of climate change
With this latest reduction, the ambitions of the EU significantly increase: a reduction of 40 percent had previously been agreed. Hence great news !
But there is a lot of work to do, to achieve this. However, this new plan creates various opportunities for us.
The WMO always reports very relevant information. In one of their latest bulletins, the following, amongst others, was stated:
“Carbon dioxide levels saw another growth spurt in 2019 and the annual global average breached the significant threshold of 410 parts per million, according to the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The rise has continued in 2020. Since 1990, there has been a 45% increase in total radiative forcing – the warming effect on the climate – by long-lived greenhouse gases, with CO2 accounting for four fifths of this.”
“Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for centuries and in the ocean for even longer. The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3°C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now. But there weren’t 7.7 billion inhabitants,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.
“We breached the global threshold of 400 parts per million in 2015. And just four years later, we crossed 410 ppm. Such a rate of increase has never been seen in the history of our records. The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph. We need a sustained flattening of the curve,” said Prof Taalas. “The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change. However, it does provide us with a platform for more sustained and ambitious climate action to reduce emissions to net zero through a complete transformation of our industrial, energy and transport systems. The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible and would affect our everyday life only marginally. It is to be welcomed that a growing number of countries and companies have committed themselves to carbon neutrality,” he said. “There is no time to lose.”
Remarkable conclusions from a second opinion investigation carried out by the “Stichting Economisch Onderzoek (SEO)” (Economic Research Foundation) at the request of the G-40 city network.
According to the G40-citynetwork (translated from the original message in the Dutch language): “On 8 October, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate has submitted the bill on Phasing Out Netting Regulations for small consumers. With this law, one of the few measures that stimulates citizens to invest in local sustainable energy is pushed aside. The reason for the phasing out is the expectation of “overstimulation”. However, research commissioned by the G40-network shows that overstimulation by maintaining the scheme has not been demonstrated. The Minister bases his bill on various studies, including the evaluation studies conducted by PWC. Partly on the basis of this, the conclusion is drawn that there is “overstimulation” if the existing netting scheme continues to exist. The G40-network has asked SEO to conduct a second opinion on the PWC studies. Conclusion: overstimulation as a motivator has not been explained, demonstrated or substantiated. ”. Read more …..
A remarkable but also worrying conclusion. After all: everything must be done to stimulate residents and owners of buildings to proactively participate in sustainability. Installing solar panels is one of those solutions. The last thing we want are unnecessary hurdles.
IEA has included in their Renewables 2020 report a very interesting dynamic data-dashboard, which will enable readers to examine historical data and investigate forecasts for various sectors and technologies.