Energy Policy Highlights showcases recent developments in energy policies among all 28 IEA member countries. Each contribution underscores the changing nature of both global and domestic energy challenges, as well as the commonality of energy concerns among member countries. The policies highlighted in this publication identify an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a clear policy objective. Electricity, enhancing energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix in a cost effective manner are likewise areas of common focus.
On the end-user side, increasing public awareness of domestic energy policies through improved transparency and engagement is an important facet of policy support among IEA member countries. The successful implementation of policies and other initiatives benefitted from efforts to inform the public.
Whether in OECD, emerging or developing country economies, governments are increasingly looking to diversify their energy mix beyond simply fossil fuels. While wind energy is developing towards a mainstream, competitive and reliable technology, a range of barriers can delay progress, such as financing, grid integration, social acceptance and aspects of planning processes.
National and regional technology roadmaps can play a key role in supporting wind energy development and implementation, helping countries to identify priorities and pathways tailored to local resources and markets. Recognising this, the IEA has started the How2Guides – a new series co-ordinated by the International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform to address the need for more focused guidance in the development of national roadmaps, or strategies, for specific low-carbon technologies. This builds on the success of the IEA global technology roadmap series and responds to a growing number of requests for IEA guidance to adapt the findings of the IEA global technology roadmaps to national circumstances.
A successful roadmap contains a clear statement of the desired outcome, followed by a specific pathway for reaching it. The How2Guide for Wind Energy builds on the IEA well established methodology for roadmap development and shares wind specific recommendations on how to address the four phases to developing and implementing a wind energy roadmap: Planning; Visioning; Development; and Implementation. The manual also offers menus of recommendations on policy and technical options for deployment of utility-scale wind energy installations. A matrix of barriers-versus-realistic solutions options is cross-listed with considerations such as planning, development, electricity market and system, infrastructure, and finance and economics. Drawing on several case studies from around the globe, as well as on the IEA Technology Roadmap for Wind Energy, the How2Guide for Wind Energy it is intended as a practical tool for policy and decision makers interested in developing – or updating – a wind power roadmap.
Possible Structure of a Wind Energy Roadmap
© IEA (2014), How2Guide for Wind Energy, OECD/IEA, Paris
Ensuring energy security and addressing climate change cost-effectively are key global challenges. Tackling these issues will require efforts from stakeholders worldwide. To find solutions, the public and private sectors must work together, sharing burdens and resources, while at the same time multiplying results and outcomes.
Through its broad range of multilateral technology initiatives (Implementing Agreements), the IEA enables member and non-member countries, businesses, industries, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to share research on breakthrough technologies, to fill existing research gaps, to build pilot plants and to carry out deployment or demonstration programmes across the energy sector.
This publication highlights the most significant recent achievements of the IEA Implementing Agreements. At the core of the IEA energy technology network, these initiatives are a fundamental building block for facilitating the entry of new and improved energy technologies into the marketplace.
Frankfurt / New York, 7 April 2014 – Renewable energy’s share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year despite a 14 per cent drop in investments to US$214.4 billion, according to a new report released today.
According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 – produced by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance – the investment drop of $US35.1 billion was partly down to the falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems. The other main cause was policy uncertainty in many countries, an issue that also depressed investment in fossil fuel generation in 2013.Globally, renewables excluding large hydro accounted for 43.6 per cent of newly installed generating capacity in 2013. Were it not for renewables, world energy-related CO2 emissions would have been an estimated 1.2 gigatonnes higher in 2013. This would have increased by about 12 per cent the gap between where emissions are heading and where they need to be in 2020 if the world is to have a realistic prospect of staying under a two degree Centigrade temperature rise.
“A long-term shift in investment over the next few decades towards a cleaner energy portfolio is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with the energy sector accounting for around two thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP. “The fact that renewable energy is gaining a bigger share of overall generation globally is encouraging. To support this further, we must re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures.”
“While some may point to the fact that overall investment in renewables fell in 2013, the drop masks the many positive signals of a dynamic market that is fast evolving and maturing,” he added. “This should give governments the confidence to forge a new robust climate agreement to cut emissions at the 2015 climate change conference in Paris.”
In recent years, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment has become the standard refer-ence for global renewable energy investment figures. The 2014 edition will be showcased at the Bloomberg New Finance Initiative “Future of Energy Summit” in New York from 7-9 April 2014.
Ulf Moslener, Head of Research of the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sus-tainable Energy Finance, agreed that the overall decline in investment dollars had been disappointing. However, he said, “foundations for future growth in the renewable energy market fell into place in 2013.”
Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “Lower costs, a return to profitability on the part of some leading manufacturers, the phenomenon of unsubsidized market uptake in a number of countries, and a warmer attitude to renewables among public market investors, were hopeful signs after several years of painful shake-out in the renewable energy sector.”
The report points to the end of a four-and-a-half year 78 per cent decline in clean energy stocks, which bottomed out in July 2012 and then gained 54 per cent in 2013 – an improvement that took place as many companies in the solar and wind manufacturing chains moved back towards profitability after a painful period of over-capacity and corporate distress.
Large hydro-electric projects were another important area of investment with at least 20 GW of capacity estimated to have come on stream in 2013, equivalent to approximately US$35 billion of investment.
Although investment in renewable energy capacity, including all hydro, in 2013 was once again below gross investment in fossil-fuel power, at US$227 billion compared to US$270 billion, it was roughly dou-ble the net figure for investment in fossil-fuel power excluding replacement plant.
The year marked a deepening involvement of long-term investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, wealth managers and private individuals in the equity and debt of wind and solar projects. Part of their new engagement was through clean energy bond issuance, which set a new record of US$3.2 billion raised in 2013, as well as via new types of financing vehicles including North American ‘yield companies’ and real estate investment trusts.
But the star performer among investment types in 2013 was public market equity-raising by renewable energy companies, which jumped 201 per cent to US$11 billion. This was the highest since 2010, spurred on by the rally in clean energy share prices and institutional investors’ appetite for funds offering solid yields.
Notes to Editors:
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The main objective of this report is to review the implications of resource efficiency principles for developing EU bioenergy production. The results presented are primarily based on the 2013 ETC/SIA study, capturing key messages while excluding some of the more technical elements. The report aims to be a more accessible version of the ETC/SIA study, aimed at the non-technical reader.
The increasing degradation of ecosystems and the growing impacts of climate change urgently call for a new development paradigm. Without drastic changes in production and consumption patterns, our planet will not be able to sustain the global economy. Experts warn of the collapse of entire ecosystems at current levels of production and consumption exacerbated by climate change, leading to less food and clean water, an increase in diseases, and ultimately, worsened conditions for the world’s poorest people. Energy is also a test case to see whether the world can really bring together the economic, social and environmental pillars of development, a process we hope will be ignited at the Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development later this year. UNDP helps countries strengthen their capacity to address environmental and energy challenges at global, national and community levels, by seeking out and sharing best practices, providing innovative policy advice and linking partners through projects that help people in developing countries build sustainable livelihoods.
Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 –Harnessing Electricity’s Potential, 382 pages, ISBN 978-92-64-20800-1, paper €150, PDF €120 (2014)
Who will benefit from using ETP 2014? Past experience shows that ETP publications attract wide and varied audiences, including experts in the energy field (e.g. technology analysts and academics), policy makers and heads of governments, as well as business leaders and investors. This reflects the value of the series’ detailed and transparent quantitative modelling analysis and well–rounded commentary, which ultimately support high-level policy messages.
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