Brussels, Belgium [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The International Energy Agency (IEA), has released a new study that says renewable energy, and particularly wind energy, must dominate the electricity generation sector in a sustainable energy future. The report “Energy Technology Perspectives”, shows two alternative futures compared with the unsustainable “business as usual” scenario.
The IEA’s biennial publication responds to the G8 call for guidance on how to achieve a clean, clever and competitive energy future.
“For the first time, the IEA has clearly acknowledged that wind power is now a mainstream energy technology, and the central role it must play in combating climate change”, said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
The IEA report acknowledges that wind power, along with energy efficiency and fuel-switching will play the major role in reducing emissions in the power sector in the next 10-20 years, the critical period during which global emissions must peak and then begin to decline if we are to avoid the worst ravages of climate change.
The most ambitious, or Blue scenario, calls for a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. That scenario forecasts that wind energy will produce more than 5,000 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year by 2050, accounting for up to 17% of global power production. More than one third of the resulting CO2 savings will be achieved in China and India. The scenario also estimates that annual global investment figures for wind energy will be US $1.1 trillion per year (about 1.1% of global GDP) up to 2050.
“While we believe that the IEA continues to underestimate wind power’s mid-to long term potential by about half, this scenario is much closer to what we believe is a sustainable energy future than anything we have seen from the IEA in the past,” said Arthouros Zervos, Chairman of GWEC. “Wind power’s technical maturity and speed of deployment is clearly acknowledged, along with the fact that there is no practical upper limit to the percentage of wind that can be integrated into the electricity system.”
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