On Tuesday 6 June 2017, the International Energy Agency released its latest report on Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP 2017), mapping major transformations in the field over the next decades.
The report calls attention to decisive policy actions and market signals to drive technological development and benefit from higher electrification around the world. To build efficient, low-carbon, integrated, flexible and robust energy system, investments in stronger and smarter infrastructure, including transmission capacity, storage capacity and demand side management technologies are needed.
According to the ETP’s "Tracking Clean Energy Progress" report transformation towards a clean energy system is not in line with stated international policy goals. Only 3 of 26 identified clean energy technologies are on track to meet a sustainable energy transition. Progress has been substantial where policies have provided clear signals on the value of technology innovation, but many technology areas still suffer from inadequate policy support.
ETP 2017’s Reference Technology Scenario- RTS (base case scenario), considers existing energy and climate commitments (including Paris Agreement. The 2DS scenario (main climate scenario), shows a pathway to limit the rise of global temperature to 2ºC, and finds the global power sector could reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2060. The Beyond 2°C Scenario (B2DS) sets out a rapid decarbonisation pathway in line with international policy goals and looks at how far known clean energy technologies could go if pushed to their practical limits, in line with countries’ more ambitious aspirations in the Paris Agreement.
As regards buildings, the report demonstrates their major role in supporting the energy system transportation. Nearly 3/4 of today’s global electricity demand between now and 2030 could be cut back through the use of high-efficiency lighting, cooling and appliances, if deployed quickly, thus allowing a greater electrification of the energy system that would not add burdens on the system.
The analysis also indicates that regardless of the pathway chosen for the energy sector transformation, policy action is needed to ensure that multiple economic, security and other benefits to the accelerated deployment of clean energy technologies are realised through a systematic and co-ordinated approach. The most important challenge for energy policy makers will be to move away from a siloed, supply-driven perspective towards one that enables systems integration.
For further information, please read the relevant IEA press release at the link provided below.