Sunday, June 30, 2013

Worthwhile IEA initiative

Just read their first paragraph, it's actually kind of cheering:
The role of renewable sources in the global power mix continues to increase. On a percentage basis, renewables continue to be the fastest-growing power source. As global renewable electricity generation expands in absolute terms, it is expected to surpass that from natural gas and double that from nuclear power by 2016, becoming the second most important global electricity source, after coal. Globally, renewable generation is estimated to rise to 25% of gross power generation in 2018, up from 20% in 2011 and 19% in 2006. Driven by fast-growing generation from wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), the share of non-hydro renewable power is seen doubling, to 8% of gross generation in 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and 2% in 2006. In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), non-hydro renewable power rises to 11% of OECD gross generation in 2018, up from 7% in 2012 and 3% in 2006.

Rest of the International Energy Agency summary is here. Non-hydro renewables used to be such a tiny component of energy that they could be ignored in the big picture, but not anymore. One trick that opponents will use to demean them is to rely on old data. Stuff from four years ago might not sound too old, but it is when you're talking about the status of the industry.

Guess I'll add one more tidbit:
Renewable electricity broadly on track in clean energy scenarios

As a portfolio of renewable technologies continues to become more competitive, renewable power is on track to meet global climate change objectives, i.e. the interim 2020 targets in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP 2012) 2 °C Scenario (2DS), in absolute generation and investmentlevels. That scenario assumes over 7 400 TWh of renewable generation in 2020, versus total generation of 27 165 TWh. Biofuels for transport face a more challenging path. Production must more than double from current levels to meet the 2DS target of 240 million litres per year in 2020. Advanced biofuels production, in particular, needs to accelerate to meet 2DS objectives.
I didn't even know about this 2012 document, might be worth checking out.