If the world is willing to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, then the construction of all new coal-fired power plants should be stopped this year, and 40 per cent of the existing global coal power fleet will have to be retire by 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, October 13.
The IEA'S first World Energy Outlook was released on October 13 and includes a scenario for the global transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this target, approval of all new gas and oil fields, coal mines, and mines extensions will also have to be stopped. Also, in an analysis of the IEA report, no new LNG export projects are to be developed, said Oil Change International, an organisation on the impact of fossil fuels in an analysis of the IEA study.
IEA's Four Measure's
The report says that the energy intensity of the global economy needs to be decreased by 4 per cent annually this decade. The global clean energy investment needs to be more than triple by 2030, with 85 per cent of total energy investment directed towards clean technologies. IEA said to achieve the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius requires an increase in annual investment in clean energy projects and infrastructure to nearly $4 trillion by 2030. Fossil fuel-related emissions need to be reduced by 75 per by 2030. The report suggests that the electricity sector needs to decarbonise by 2035 in developed nations and by 2040 in all countries. Cars with new internal combustion engines need to be ended by 2035 globally, the report said.
IEA has listed out four measures to help achieve the net-zero emissions target— a significant increase of other low-emission fuels, including the use of nuclear power; doubling of solar PV and wind deployment relative to what nations have already announced; a massive expansion of electricity infrastructure, including from hydropower, and a rapid phase-out of coal etc, according to Hindustan Times. It has called for reducing the energy intensity of the global economy by more than 4 per cent every year between 2020 and 2030 through energy efficiency measures.
Emission reduction for net-zero targets come from technologies that are at the confirmation or prototype stage now. These are very important to address emissions from steel, cement, iron, and other energy-intensive industrial sectors and long-distance transport. The deployment of hydrogen-based and other low carbon fuels and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage will be crucial, the IEA said. This kind of transition could lead to unstable energy markets.
'World Is Not Doing Enough'
" The world is not doing enough to meet the need of future ad uncertainties over policies create a lot of risk of an uneasy period ahead for energy markets. Spending on transition-related is gradually increasing but not enough. Demand is increasing for energy services. The shortfall is visible across all sectors, also at the same time, the amount being spent on natural gas and oil came down by two price collapses in 2014-15 and 2020, is geared towards a world of motionless or even falling demand of these fuels," the report said. The IEA report comes in the backdrop of a crippling energy price crisis globally.
"Recent increases globally in natural gas prices are the result of various factors, and it is inappropriate to lay the responsibility at the door of the clean energy transition," said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. " This increase has been driven by the increase in coal, gas and carbon prices in Europe," Birol added.
What Is STEPS ?
" Looking into what various governments have put in place till now if we measure sector by sector and various other developments are captured in IEA'S Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS). Under STEPS, global temperature will rise by 2.6 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels," the report said.
The report said an equitable energy transition is a must for achieving net-zero emissions. While advanced economies reach zero emissions before emerging markets and developing economies like India, the goal is to reduce air pollution significantly as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that energy affordability is adequately maintained.