Renewables Play Important Role In Combating Climate Change


Serious changes will need to be made in order to combat climate change and enhance global security, according to The World Energy Outlook 2009 (WEO-2009), which was recently released by the International Energy Agency. The report also says that an increase in renewable power will contribute to mitigating climate change.

The publication of the report coincides with the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is scheduled for December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Although the financial global crisis has resulted in a decrease in energy use, the IEA projects that demand for energy will soon rise again if government policies do not change.

WEO-2009 concludes that containing climate change is possible, but it will require a profound transformation of the energy sector. Under its 450 Scenario, the report sets out an aggressive timetable of actions needed to limit the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent and keep the global temperature rise to around 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

‘WEO-2009 provides both a caution and grounds for optimism,’ says Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA. ‘Caution, because a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6 degrees C and poses serious threats to global energy security. Optimism, because there are cost-effective solutions to avoid severe climate change while also enhancing energy security – and these are within reach, as the new outlook shows.’

The use of non-hydro renewable power, including solar and wind, sees the fastest rate of increase in the Reference Scenario. Most of the increase is in power generation. The share of non-hydro renewables in total output rises from 2.5% in 2007 to 8.6% in 2030, with wind power seeing the biggest increase.

SOURCE: The International Energy Agency

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