IEA: Only four out of 38 clean technologies on track to meet sustainability goals

Most technologies will not meet the climate, energy access and air pollution targets under its Sustainable Development Scenario

Festival Net Zero 2021

Only four out of 38 clean energy technologies were on track to meet long term sustainability goals last year.

That’s according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new and updated online hub that assess progress made by key energy technologies and how quick they are moving towards the goal of its Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), which includes climate, energy access and air pollution targets.

While some technologies such as solar, LEDs and electric vehicles made “tremendous progress” in 2017, others like carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) stalled.

The IEA found unabated coal generation, i.e. without CCUS – responsible for 72% of power sector emissions – rebounded in 2017 after falling over the previous three years.

Slow progress on energy efficiency improvements contributed to an increase in global energy-related CO2 emissions of 1.4% last year.

It added onshore wind and energy storage were downgraded this year as progress slowed, bringing the total number of technologies “in need of improvement” to 23.

A total of 11, including renewable heat and transport biofuels, out of the 38 technologies surveyed were “significantly not on track”.

IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol said: “There is a critical need for more vigorous action by governments, industry and other stakeholders to drive advances in energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The world doesn’t have an energy problem but an emissions problem and this is where we should focus our efforts.”

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