‘Impossible Becoming Possible’ As Clean Energy Surges


Published:

Renewable energy comprised nearly half of the world's power generation capacity in 2014.

Photo: World Bank via Flickr CC

Offering a “clear sign that an energy transition is underway,” renewable energy comprised nearly half of the world's power generation capacity in 2014 and is already the second-largest electricity source on the planet after coal, according to a new report published Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

What's more, green power is set to surpass coal in the early 2030s, particularly as oil prices drop and the link between energy demands and economic growth weakens, the IEA's latest World Energy Outlook (pdf) report found.

But a full transition to clean energy can only happen with a concerted global push, IEA said—and humanity has a lot of urgent work to do.

The “plunge in oil prices has set in motion the forces that lead the market to rebalance, via higher demand and lower growth in supply, although the adjustment mechanism in oil markets is rarely a smooth one,” the report states. Coal use in China has hit a plateau, which means the “single largest energy demand growth story is near its end.” In the U.S., oil demands have fallen by roughly 4 million barrels a day, a level not seen since the 1960s.

Meanwhile, the world's “appetite for electricity” will elevate demand for renewables 70 percent by 2040, IEA found.

As renewables rise, greenhouse gas emissions fall. That means the time to act is now, the agency said.

“It would be a grave mistake to index our attention to energy security to changes in the oil price,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Now is not the time to relax. Quite the opposite: a period of low oil prices is the moment to reinforce our capacity to deal with future energy security threats.”

In fact, according to the report, the world is still on course for a 2.7°C global temperature rise, higher than the 2°C threshold to prevent irreparable global warming and extreme weather events. The best bet for curbing runaway climate change is the upcoming United Nations COP21 summit in Paris, the IEA said, where heads of state should commit to full implementation of "unconditional pledges" to reduce carbon emissions.

“World leaders meeting in Paris must set a clear direction for the accelerated transformation of the global energy sector,” Dr. Birol said. “As the largest source of global greenhouse-gas emissions, the energy sector must be at the heart of global action to tackle climate change.”

The IEA's findings are supported by a recent Greenpeace analysis (pdf) which found that global coal consumption between January and September 2015 fell by at least 2.3 percent—the largest drop on record, the environmental group said.

“This historic fall was caused by a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstance: dire fossil fuel economics, rising renewable energy uptake, slowing global energy demand, and China’s crackdown on air pollution,” Greenpeace wrote.

Lauri Myllyvirta, the group's coal and energy campaigner, said the trends “show that the so-called global coal boom in the first decade of the 21st century was a mirage.”

“Coal is in terminal decline, and those countries investing in coal for export markets are making reckless decisions,” Myllyvirta said. “They will be scarring the landscape and damaging the climate with little prospect of a return on their investment.”

Emily Rochon, Greenpeace International's global energy strategist, said the clean energy revolution could happen even faster than the IEA estimates. “The impossible is becoming possible,” Rochon told the Guardian. “The global breakthrough of renewable energy has happened much faster than anticipated. The IEA is catching up on renewable energy trends, but it is still failing to see the full potential of change.”

“We believe that with the right level of policy support, the world can deliver 100% renewable energy for all by 2050,” Rochon said.

Nadia Prupis is a Common Dreams staff writer.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

May 25, 2018

Take notes as thoughts and feelings are unusually profound. An early morning trine between Jupiter and Neptune offers a rich communion between minds and hearts. Mental Mercury’s ensuing trine with Pluto deepens curiosity and gives insights into life’s…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

May 2018

Spend a day in conversation with angels! Heal and empower yourself with the energy of angels. You will learn the special healing gift that each of nine healing angels brings and how this relates...

Cost: $111

Where:
Be Well Studios
3358 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH  03860
View map »


Sponsor: Pathway Of Joy
Telephone: 207-329-7192
Contact Name: Linda Huitt
Website »

More information

Do you desire more connection and intimacy? Do you want to increase the quality of your intimacy? Does fear of rejection, misinterpretation or expectations hold you back from initiating?...

Cost: $187 per person

Where:
Watertown Center for Healing Arts
22 Mount Auburn St
Watertown, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Conscious Intimacy
Telephone: 415-244-1652
Contact Name: Brynn Bishop
Website »

More information

With Dido Nydick A Restorative Yoga practice to experience relaxation for well-being. Each class will consist of a reclining pose sequence designed to restore the nervous system and help release...

Cost: $25

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-867-3969
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
Website »

More information

Sunday yoga is back! Hatha Yoga with meditation to get you ready to tackle your spring intentions. Sign up for series or drop in. 

Cost: $75/5 classes; drop in $17.00

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd
Devens, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Dragonfly Wellness Center
Telephone: 978-227-8297
Contact Name: Anita Perry
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Feel the bliss of opening your spine, while being totally supported and meticulously aligned. Great for sciatica and low back pain! Classes also held Saturday mornings.

Cost: $18 drop in

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
Website »

More information

8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course with Erin Woo Tuesdays, May 1 - June 19, 6–8:30 pm *Includes an all day retreat on Saturday, June 9 from 9 am - 4 pm Come explore the...

Cost: $290

Where:
Balance Bethlehem
2087 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH  03574
View map »


Sponsor: Balance Bethlehem
Telephone: 603-869-2125
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

YogaLife studio would like to offer this opportunity to slow it down, step back, notice your breath and sit quietly in community. Join us Thursdays from 5:40-6:30 PM. No Yoga...

Cost: Free

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut Street
Suite A
Exeter, MA  03833
View map »


Telephone: 603-969-8968
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

May 25 - 27 The heroic and shamanic journeys weave throughout human history. Each requires the protagonist to journey into another order of reality, a landscape of magic and mystery…...

Cost: $325 – includes food

Where:
Putney, VT  05346


Sponsor: Circles of Air and Stone
Telephone: 802-387-6624
Contact Name: Sparrow Hart
Website »

More information

Designed to prepare individuals who are interested in helping themselves and others in a rewarding career as a Professional Certified Hypnotist/Hypnotherapist. Live demonstration, supervised...

Cost: $1995 ppd. (Early Bird by 5/14 - $1795)

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Dominic Boag is one of the UK’s finest psychic mediums. Dominic has been taking his events to audiences across Scotland. He is the Scottish Sun’s Psychic and writes his own column named...

Where:
American Legion Post 440
295 California St.
Newton, MA  02458
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism
Telephone: 617-861-1440
Website »

More information

May 25 - 28, 2018 Save the date! Four days of learning, earth healing, music, meditation, dance and delicious organic food! All are welcome!

Where:
Old King Farm
567 Money Hole Road
Benson, VT  05743
View map »


Telephone: 802-537-3460
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags