‘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

January 20, 2019

This is a powerful day. The Sun enters Aquarius during the early morning hours while the nearly Full Moon chugs along through her own sign of Cancer. Venus is at odds with Neptune, setting the stage for tonight’s Supermoon lunar eclipse. While the Sun…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2019

Join acupuncturist and eastern medicine specialist Linda Davis to: 1) Learn and practice a simple method to access your pendulum’s divination powers; 2) experience various types of...

Cost: $20–$25

Where:
Portal Crystal Gallery
489 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA  02474
View map »


Telephone: 781-859-5373
Website »

More information

Once used as a diagnostic tool for physicians, the palms and hands give us insight into physical health and emotional well-being. Learning to decipher the differences in hands and the meanings...

Cost: $250

Where:
The Soul Purpose
1225 Gar Highway
Swansea, MA  02777
View map »


Sponsor: The Soul Purpose
Telephone: 774-264-1329
Contact Name: Jessica Kozak
Website »

More information

Celebrating the new year, the new you!  Come detox, relax and get your new year readings while you recharge in our sanctuary! We have a fun line up of readers and healers providing...

Cost: $60- 3 Service package special; $25 - single service

Where:
Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Road
Suite A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Did you know that forgiveness heals? It can reduce depression, ease anxiety, increase our well-being, and facilitate the body's natural healing response. Many of us may get the concept of...

Cost: $60

Where:
private office
North Andover, MA  01845


Sponsor: Diana Harris
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

The most powerful things in the universe are invisible. Energy which is the most powerful of physical and spiritual forces is invisible. The most precious and important things that matter in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Inner Space Meditation Center & Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Telephone: 617-547-1110
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

MBSR: Mindful Based Stress Reduction Mindfulness, as taught in the MBSR program, is recognized worldwide as the gold standard in mindfulness training and is one of the greatest...

Cost: Free

Where:
Life Care PT
38 Southwest Cutoff
Northborough, MA  01532
View map »


Sponsor: The Center for Resilient Living
Telephone: 508-556-7022
Contact Name: Ginny Wholley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using...

Cost: $30 (limited hardship rates available)

Where:
Spontaneous Celebrations
45 Danforth Street
Jamaica Plain, MA  02130
View map »


Telephone: 617-233-6410
Contact Name: Allen B. Howell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Listen as Lauren channels messages from loved ones to prove you are never alone. An intimate event with tested and endorsed research medium.  Visit website for tickets. Doors open at 6:30...

Cost: $50

Where:
The Spiritual Path with Lauren Bortolami
129 N. Main Street
Mansfield, MA  02048
View map »


Sponsor: Lauren Bortolami Robbins
Telephone: 508-339-8111
Contact Name: Lauren Robbins
Website »

More information

With Sherri Snyder-Roche. This yoga workshop will explore self-compassion, self-love and pushing through discomfort to help your recovery process. Recovery from divorce, eating disorders,...

Cost: $95 for 6 weeks or $17 drop in

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 E. Hartford Avenue, Unit A
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Women Rising Together—Women’s Workshop This workshop is designed for women who are facing a challenge and would like to come together with other spiritually minded women to explore...

Cost: $25

Where:
Apple Tree Arts
1 Grafton Common
Grafton, MA  01519
View map »


Contact Name: Christine Johnson

More information

Intuitive medium Laura Wooster is honored to present this evening of spirit messages from your loved ones on the other side. She will deliver evidential messages of love, hope, and comfort from...

Cost: $25

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Holistic Problem-Solving with Dr. HermanSJr. Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your...

Cost: $100

Where:
Caffe Nero
368 Congress Street
Boston, MA  02210
View map »


Telephone: 321.30.PSYCH(7792)
Contact Name: Soni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor: Stacey Piwinski Adult Level Spend half a winter’s day working with warm, cozy, and colorful yarn! Each participant will learn to weave their own circular weaving, starting...

Cost: $65

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
View map »


Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Peyton Pugmire
Website »

More information

Start this intensive January 26 This is an excellent series for those who are on a healing journey of any sort, as we access the Akashic field of energy to clear your path and...

Cost: $860 or three payments of $366

Where:
, MA


Telephone: (978) 835-0005
Contact Name: Nancy

More information

Holistic Problem-Solving with Dr. HermanSJr. Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your...

Cost: $100

Where:
Caffe Nero
368 Congress Street
Boston, MA  02210
View map »


Telephone: 321.30.PSYCH(7792)
Contact Name: Soni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags