Support for renewables lacking, global reports find

IEA, World Bank say investments in green energy needs to double.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  May 19, 2015 at 7:26 AM
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PARIS, May 19 (UPI) -- A report from the International Energy Agency in Paris finds the pace at which renewable energy is advancing is lagging far behind global goals for 2030.

A joint IEA-World Bank report on a U.N. initiative, Sustainable Energy for All, finds the share of renewable energy on the global grid grew from 17.8 percent in 2010 to 18.1 percent two years later. The initiative calls for at least twice that by 2030.

Substantial investments beyond the $400 billion rate in renewables, to at least $1 trillion, are needed to achieve the goals. The lack of investments, the report found, was one of the main drivers behind the slow pace of progress.

A survey from the International Monetary Fund, meanwhile, finds subsidies for the energy industry amounted to $492 billion in 2011, "with nearly half of this attributable to a few oil-exporting developing economies."

The IMF finds problems ranging from global warming to traffic congestion stemming from the continued support for conventional energy models. Both reports, however, find investments in renewable energy are increasing while costs of deployment go down.

Nevertheless, the IMF finds the low price of crude oil, and the subsequent profit shortfalls for those in the industry, could be an opportunity for the advancing low-carbon economy.

"Low international oil prices have not made the problem go away," IMF economists said in a briefing. "But they provide a great opportunity to move towards more efficient pricing of energy."

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