IEA: we’re on track for 6 degree warming  

Posted by Big Gav in

The Climate Spectator has a look at the latest publication emanating from the IEA - IEA: we’re on track for 6 degree warming.

You can’t get much starker a statement than the one from International Energy Agency head Maria van der Hoeven, in relation to the latest edition of the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives publication:

"Let me be straight. Our ongoing failure to realise the full potential of clean energy technology is alarming. "Continued heavy reliance on a narrow set of technologies and fossil fuels is a significant threat to energy security, stable economic growth and global welfare, as well as to the environment."

This is the fourth edition of the IEA’s Energy Technologies Perspective report, which attempts to map out what kind of transformation of our energy sector we would need to make in order to limit global warming to tolerable levels. This edition outlines a mix of technological solutions that are not all that different to what they have projected in the past:

-- Energy efficiency can deliver the largest, fastest and cheapest emission reductions.
-- Renewables have a large role to play and will grow to be a major source of supply if we implement policy to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
-- Natural gas will be important as a complement to the variability of some renewables and provide an important lower emission substitute for coal. ...

But the particular highlight, or to be more precise, lowlight, of this report is that if governments don’t do something urgently to wean ourselves off fossil-fuels, we’ll most likely end up with global temperature rise of six degrees Celsius.

According to a 2010 paper by Sherwood and Huber, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, such a temperature rise would mean significant parts of the globe would be so hot and importantly humid, that it would be beyond humans to successfully adapt. We simply can’t risk this kind of extreme temperature rise.

What’s more, while avoiding this disaster would require very huge investments in energy supply and usage ($36 trillion more from today to 2050), it would deliver fuel savings that would outweigh the additional investments by $3 to $1. Even with a 10 per cent discount rate, we’d end up with a net benefit of $US5 trillion, according to the IEA.

Unfortunately, the IEA says nine out of ten technologies that hold potential for major energy and CO2 emissions savings are failing to be deployed at the scale required. Hydro, biomass, onshore wind and solar photovoltaics are making sufficient progress, but several others are not. The IEA is particularly worried about slow uptake of energy efficiency, offshore wind and concentrated solar power but perhaps most of all it’s worried about the complete lack of progress for carbon capture and storage of emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (617) global warming (421) solar power (396) peak oil (353) renewable energy (301) electric vehicles (249) wind power (194) ocean energy (165) csp (158) geothermal energy (144) solar thermal power (144) energy storage (142) smart grids (140) solar pv (138) tidal power (137) oil (136) coal seam gas (131) nuclear power (128) china (118) lng (116) iraq (113) geothermal power (112) green buildings (111) natural gas (110) agriculture (92) oil price (80) biofuel (78) wave power (73) smart meters (72) coal (69) uk (69) electricity grid (67) energy efficiency (64) google (58) bicycle (51) internet (51) surveillance (50) big brother (49) shale gas (49) food prices (48) tesla (46) thin film solar (42) biomimicry (40) canada (40) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) arctic ice (33) concentrating solar power (33) queensland (32) saudi arabia (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) population (30) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) limits to growth (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) exxon (22) lithium (22) buckminster fuller (21) distributed manufacturing (21) iraq oil law (21) coal to liquids (20) indonesia (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) collapse (17) electric bikes (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) iceland (16) lithium ion batteries (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) psychology (15) al gore (14) brazil (14) bucky fuller (14) carbon emissions (14) fertiliser (14) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) matthew simmons (13) public transport (13) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) big oil (11) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) tinfoil (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) antarctica (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) methane hydrates (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) bolivia (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) scenario planning (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)