IEA: Only 3 Out Of 26 Assessed Technologies Ready To Meet Paris Climate Change Targets

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Out of 26 assessed technologies “needed” for the achievement of long-term climate change targets set as part of the Paris Agreement, only 3 are “on track,” according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

The report argues that this is because governments have failed to provide enough support for the large-scale deployment of such tech. The 26 assessed technologies in question being: various renewable energy modalities, electric vehicles, energy storage tech, carbon capture tech, etc.

The 3 out of 26 technologies in question that are “on track” are: electric vehicles, energy storage, and “mature variable renewables.”

The report reads: “Transformation toward a clean energy system is not in line with stated international policy goals. Many technology areas suffer from a lack of policy support and this impedes their scaled-up deployment.”

This isn’t actually news of course, as it was assumed by a great many observers of the Paris agreement that the lack of binding actions would result in a vast failure to achieve the supposed goal (limiting warming to well under 2° Celsius, as compared to pre-industrial temperatures).

The new report notes that, while the energy sector could potentially be “carbon neutral” by 2060 “to limit future temperature increase to 1.75° C by 2100,” this would only occur if technological innovations are “pushed to the limit.” (Author’s note: I can’t let that one slide, whether it’s the IEA’s prediction or not, global average temperature rise will be passing the 1.75° Celsius mark within the very near future without massive, massive change. The only way that the passing of that milestone could be avoided was if there was the political will there, in nearly every country around the world, to completely restructure and downsize the modern way of living — which isn’t going to happen, people have grown accustomed to this way of living and very few will give it up willingly.)

Reuters provides more: “Global new nuclear capacity additions totaled 10 gigawatt (GW last year, the highest rate since 1990. However, a capacity addition rate of 20 GW annually would be needed to meet goals for limiting temperature rise to 2° C, the report said.

“From 2010 to 2015, renewable power generation grew by more than 30% and is forecast to grow by another 30% between 2015 and 2020. However, renewable power generation growth needs to accelerate by an additional 40% over 2020–25 to reach a 2° C limit goal.”

To be extra clear on that, according to the IEA, growth in renewable energy generation during the 2020–2025 timeframe needs to be at least 70% (not 40%, but 30% + 40%) if the 2° Celsius temperature rise limit is to be feasible. But there are other technologies that need to scale up super quickly as well.

Here’s a bit more from Reuters: “Carbon dioxide emissions from coal must decline by around 3% a year to 2025, led by the retirement in the least efficient technologies and a decline in coal generation not equipped with carbon capture and storage after 2020, the IEA said.”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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