“As our global energy system grows and transforms, signs of stress continue to emerge. But renewables are expected to go from strength to strength, and it is incredible that we can now see a point where they become the world’s number one source of electricity generation.”
So says International Energy Agency Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven at the launch of the IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook, which warns of the great risk of current events distracting decision-makers from recognising and tackling the longer-term signs of stress that are emerging in the energy system.
“The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it,” wrote the authors of the World Energy Outlook 2014, before highlighting a number of energy crises the world over — including Middle East turmoil affecting oil, the effect of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on gas, and others.
There is a positive outlook for renewables in the report, as they are expected to account for nearly half of the global increase in power generation by 2040, and overtake coal as the leading source of energy generation. However, as has been noted time and time again, integrating this much renewable energy is going to be the major sticking point.
Over the next week, CleanTechnica is going to dig deeper into the Outlook, so stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the IEA’s most recent World Energy Outlook report.
Some highlights from the central scenario presented in the World Energy Outlook 2014 include:
- world primary energy demand is 37% higher in 2040 than today, creating greater stressors on the global energy network
- this pressure would be even greater, however, without existing efficiency measures that ease the strain somewhat
- by 2040, world demand for coal and fuel will plateau, though for very different trends across countries.
For those who want to wander through the available information for themselves, you can check out everything the IEA has available here.
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