Energy crisis drives shift away from fossil fuels - IEA
Image by Hauptstadtbuero Bioenergie.
October 27 (Renewables Now) - The global energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is changing the world energy order, accelerating the transition to a cleaner and more secure energy system, the International Energy Agency said today as it released its latest World Energy Outlook.
Together with short-term measures to tackle energy shortfalls and high prices inflicted by the crisis, many governments are responding with longer-term policies such as the US Inflation Reduction Act, the EU’s REPowerEU and Japan’s Green Transformation (GX) programme.
As a result, the report’s Stated Policies Scenario, which is based on the latest policy settings, for the first time shows a peak or plateau for each of the fossil fuels. Under this scenario, renewables, supported by nuclear power, experience sustained gains, with global clean energy investment reaching more than USD 2 trillion (EUR 2trn) a year by 2030, an increase of more than 50% compared to current levels.
In the Stated Policies Scenario, coal consumption declines within the next few years, natural gas demand hits a plateau by 2030 and, with electric vehicles (EVs) expansion, oil use flattens out in the mid-2030s and inches back to mid-century. The share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix decreases from around 80% to just above 60% by 2050. This scenario projects a rise of around 2.5 degrees C in global average temperatures by 2100, which is better than forecasts a few years ago but still not enough to avoid severe climate change impacts.
“Energy markets and policies have changed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not just for the time being, but for decades to come,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Even with today’s policy settings, the energy world is shifting dramatically before our eyes. Government responses around the world promise to make this a historic and definitive turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” added Birol.
IEA also called for stepping up efforts to bridge the gap in clean energy investment levels between advanced economies and emerging and developing countries.
The war in Ukraine is undermining the position of Russia, which has been the world’s largest fossil fuels exporter with a share of almost 20% of internationally traded energy in 2021. Russia will be unable to return to these levels under any of the report’s scenarios, while its share falls to 13% in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario.