With demand for fossil fuels outpacing the growth of renewable energy technologies worldwide, the International Energy Agency suggests that fossil fuel subsidies worth $312 billion be realigned to develop cleaner alternatives.
Although renewable energy has seen growth of 30 to 40 percent in recent years, 47 percent of new electricity demand worldwide over the last decade was met with coal-fired energy, according to agency’s first clean energy progress report.
As of 2009, fossil fuels had received more than $312 billion in subsidies, compared with $57 billion for renewable energy. In some countries, aggressive policies have yielded progress in the deployment of renewable energy sources, according to the study.
For example, at least 10 nations now have sizeable domestic markets for solar technology compared with just three a decade ago. But increased growth depends on increased incentives for private sector investment and market mechanisms, the report says. “We must see more ambitious, effective policies that respond to market signals while providing long-term, predictable support,” said Richard Jones, IEA deputy executive director.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.