IEA says fossil fuels must be replaced by renewables  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

ReNew Economy has a look at this year's "Energy Technology Perspective" report from the IEA - IEA says fossil fuels must be replaced by renewables.

In its biannual Energy Technology Perspective report, the traditionally conservative IEA (of which Australia is a member) says the energy mix for the world’s electricity supply needs to be flipped within a few decades, from 68 per cent fossil fuels now to at least 65 per cent renewables by 2050.

And it argues that action is needed now,or it will get more costly. Already, the delays in action in the last few years has increased the bill to $44 trillion from $36 trillion. While that sounds like a big number, the IEA says it is a small percentage of globa GDP over the next three decades, and would be more than offset by $115 trillion in fuel savings.

RNE also has a companion piece on solar power - Baseload to be marginalised as solar takes pole position.

The International Energy Agency says solar energy – a combination of solar PV and concentrated solar thermal with storage – is likely to become the dominant source of energy across the world, accounting for more than 27 per cent of all electricity produced by 2050.

The IEA says its core scenarios for reaching climate targets by 2050 call for 68 per cent of generation to be sourced from renewable energy, but in the (increasingly likely) event that carbon capture and storage and nuclear cannot take up their imagined shares, then the IEA has painted a “high renewables” scenario where solar takes an even greater role. ...

Solar PV, for instance, is likely to expand way behind even the IEA’s most bullish scenarios, as a result of widespread deployment and continuing cost cuts. The IEA suggests that solar PV could account for 16 per cent of global generation by 2050, although this would require an average of more than 116GW of solar PV to be deployed over that time.

Its estimates, however, seem conservative given that most private forecasters suggest that the solar industry will reach 100GW installation a year anyway by 2017 or 2018, and capacity is likely to grow further beyond that. Its “vanilla” scenario for reaching its climate goals require just an average of 67GW of solar PV to be installed a year. The solar market is likely to reach that figure in 2015.

In any case, the IEA says that solar thermal with storage, the kind of facility that has been deployed in Spain, and is now being constructed in the US, and in South Africa and Chile, will also play a critical role, accounting for 11 per cent of global electricity supply in 2050 because of its ability to switch on production, and switch off, at any time of day.

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