IEA Reports Stalled EffortsToward Clean Energy

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The rapid expansion of renewable technologies is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).

“The drive to clean up the world’s energy system has stalled,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told the CEM, which brings together ministers representing countries responsible for four-fifths of global greenhouse-gas emissions. “Despite much talk by world leaders and despite a boom in renewable energy over the last decade, the average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago.”

To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduces the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The ESCII stood at 2.39 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of oil equivalent (tCO 2/toe) in 1990, and had barely moved by 2010, holding at 2.37 tCO2/toe.

“As world temperatures creep higher due to ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide – two thirds of which come from the energy sector – the overall lack of progress should serve as a wake-up call,” Ms. Van der Hoeven said. “We cannot afford another 20 years of listlessness. We need a rapid expansion in low-carbon energy technologies if we are to avoid a potentially catastrophic warming of the planet but we must also accelerate the shift away from dirtier fossil fuels.”

While noting that progress remains alarmingly slow for a majority of technologies that could save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions consistent with international climate goals, the IEA’s report did find some recent, positive signs.

From 2011 to 2012, solar photovoltaic and wind technologies grew by an impressive 42% and 19%, respectively, despite ongoing economic and policy turbulence in the sector. Emerging economies are also stepping up efforts in clean energy. Brazil, China and India were among the countries that enhanced policy support for the renewable electricity sector in 2012, for example. Advanced vehicle technologies also progressed well, with hybrid-electric vehicles breaking the 1 million annual sales mark. Electric vehicle sales also more than doubled to reach 110 000 vehicles. Ms. Van der Hoeven emphasized the ongoing, significant potential of energy efficiency measures. She noted that while there has been progress in improving the fuel economy of passenger vehicles, a wide difference in standards among countries remains, and very few regions currently have comprehensive fuel economy measures in place.

The revolution in shale gas technology has triggered a switch to gas from coal in the United States – important to reducing emissions in the short term – but this is still a regional phenomenon. Coal use expanded elsewhere, in particular in Europe, where the share of coal increased in the power generation mix at the expense of natural gas.

In a world that continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment is ever more critical. While CCS technologies are mature in many applications, the report stresses that they are unlikely to be deployed commercially until governments make a strong commitment in the form of appropriate policy.

The report gives policy recommendations, technology by technology. At the highest level, it stresses that the true cost of energy must be reflected in consumer prices, through carbon pricing and the phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies. Technologies like electric vehicles, wind and solar will need support for several years more, but policies should be flexible and transparent. More stringent and broader energy performance standards, building codes and fuel economy standards can d rive energy efficiency.

“The CEM governments represent 4.1 billion people and three-quarters of global GDP,” Ms. Van der Hoeven said. “Together, they have the power to set the clean energy transition in motion, and now it is time for them to use it.”

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Virtual AIS Beacons Employed in MH370 Search

Vesper Marine, a manufacturer of marine safety products and virtual Aids to Navigation (ATON), announced that its Virtual AIS Beacons are employed in the search

Alu Design to Create Next Generation of Marine Chairs

There’s a new designer in the driving seat at Alu Design. Per Ivar Selvaag, the former Lead Designer at BMW Group and Chief Designer of Peugeot’s concept car division,

New Dual Use Piracy Barrier Launched

Guardian Maritime launched Guardian Greenwater, a new product that was developed to deal with the issue of greenwater on-board deck following turbulent weather conditions,

Environmental

Court Dismisses Boating Industry’s Challenge to EPA Misfueling Rule

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said it is disappointed with the U.S. Court of Appeals decision released on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 for the D.

New Dual Use Piracy Barrier Launched

Guardian Maritime launched Guardian Greenwater, a new product that was developed to deal with the issue of greenwater on-board deck following turbulent weather conditions,

Australia Join Operation RENDER SAFE

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have arrived in Bougainville to address a potentially deadly legacy posed by unexploded ordnance from past conflicts as part of Operation RENDER SAFE 2014.

Energy

PDVSA Charters Another Algerian Crude Cargo

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has hired a supertanker to load a second 2 million-barrel cargo of Algerian crude, according to preliminary tanker fixture data.

Russian Minister to Intervene with Gazprom on Slovakia Gas Flow

Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak will intervene with Gazprom to raise reduced gas shipments to Slovakia to contracted levels, Slovakia's economy ministry

Total Names Refining Boss to Replace de Margerie

French oil company Total has appointed refining boss Patrick Pouyanne as chief executive to succeed Christophe de Margerie who was killed in a plane crash in Moscow this week.

News

PDVSA Charters Another Algerian Crude Cargo

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has hired a supertanker to load a second 2 million-barrel cargo of Algerian crude, according to preliminary tanker fixture data.

Video: USCG Medevacs Navy Sailor off Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a man Wednesday from a Navy vessel off the Virginia coast after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth

VT Halter Begins Building LNG-powered ConRo Ships for Crowley

VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), has commenced construction on the first of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2180 sec (5 req/sec)