Tuesday, October 09, 2018

IEA:  Renewables Set for Explosive Growth

Solar Park (Credit: oilprice.com) Click to Enlarge.
While there is stunning progress in the electricity sector – and indeed, it looks increasingly likely that solar and wind combined with energy storage will take over large shares of global electricity in the years ahead – fossil fuels remain deeply entrenched in many other sectors.

The IEA has repeatedly raised the prospect of strong oil demand growth in the petrochemical sector.  The proliferation of plastics means that petrochemical production will take over from transportation as the source of the most oil demand growth going forward, offsetting the gains made in passenger vehicles.  In addition, the use of oil in marine, air and freight transit will remain stubbornly high and very hard to dislodge.

Moreover, heating is another area where renewables remain far behind.  The IEA said this is a major “blind spot” that receives very little attention.  But the good news is that bioenergy, which includes plant-based fuels, gas from anaerobic digestion and wood pellets, is on track to grow significantly.  “Modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of the renewable energy field,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.  “We expect modern bioenergy will continue to lead the field, and has huge prospects for further growth.”  The IEA cautioned that these forms of energy should only come from feedstocks that don’t carry their on environmental and social pitfalls.

Overall, in business terms, renewable energy is set for massive growth and will only improve the competitive edge over fossil fuels with time.  But the pace of energy transition is still worryingly slow, which has dire implications for the planet.

Read more at IEA:  Renewables Set for Explosive Growth

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