The International Energy Agency (IEA) is anticipating a 3% fall in greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 due to the global economic slump, increased focus on renewable energy and nuclear power and a decline in industrial activity.
According to IEA’s forthcoming annual world energy outlook study extract, countries will have to annually shell out $400bn for developing 350,000 wind turbines and 350 new nuclear plants over the next two decades.
The IEA’s chief economist Fatih Birol said that the drop in emissions enables countries to focus on less carbon-intensive energy sources.
“To hold emissions to 450ppm (parts per million), we need in the region of 18 nuclear power stations, 17,000 turbines, 100 concentrated solar power stations and 16 carbon capture and storage plants to be built every year until 2030,” Birol said.
He added that if emissions are restricted to 450ppm, the industry’s revenue would drop by 16% to $24tn.
“We think the share of renewables and nuclear, which is now 18% worldwide, needs to go up to 33% by 2030,” he said. “But energy efficiency will be the key.”
“Oil, coal and gas needs to peak at 2020 and then decline. Renewables, nuclear and CCS (carbon capture and storage) need to go up dramatically,” the report said.
Birol said the shift of focus away from fossil fuels largely depended on the results of the Copenhagen talks.
The IEA report states that current industrialised country targets are not sufficient to drive energy efficiency and renewables to the extent needed.