This paper assesses some welfare consequences of climate change mitigation policies.
In 90 minutes, enough sunlight strikes the earth to provide the entire planet's energy needs for one year. While solar energy is abundant, it represents a tiny fraction of the world’s current energy mix. But this is changing rapidly and is being driven by global action to improve energy access and supply security, and to mitigate climate change.
Around the world, countries and companies are investing in solar generation capacity on an unprecedented scale, and, as a consequence, costs continue to fall and technologies improve. This publication gives an authoritative view of these technologies and market trends, in both advanced and developing economies, while providing examples of the best and most advanced practices. It also provides a unique guide for policy makers, industry representatives and concerned stakeholders on how best to use, combine and successfully promote the major categories of solar energy: solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity, as well as solar fuels.
Finally, in analysing the likely evolution of electricity and energy-consuming sectors – buildings, industry and transport – it explores the leading role solar energy could play in the long-term future of our energy system.
The transition to a greener economy supported by international environmental commitments and national policies will entail structural changes in consumption patterns and industry structures, resulting in a reallocation of resources in and between countries.
The global energy system faces urgent challenges. Concerns about energy security are growing, as highlighted by the recent political turmoil in Northern Africa and the nuclear incident in Fukushima. At the same time, the need to respond to climate change is more critical than ever. Against this background, many governments have increased efforts to promote deployment of renewable energy – low-carbon sources that can strengthen energy security. This has stimulated unprecedented rise in deployment, and renewables are now the fastest growing sector of the energy mix.
This “coming of age” of renewable energy also brings challenges. Growth is focused on a few of the available technologies, and rapid deployment is confined to a relatively small number of countries. In more advanced markets, managing support costs and system integration of large shares of renewable energy in a time of economic weakness and budget austerity has sparked vigorous political debate.
The IEA’s new report, Deploying Renewables 2011: Best and Future Policy Practice:
· Provides a comprehensive review and analysis of renewable energy policy and market trends;
· Analyses in detail the dynamics of deployment and provides best-practice policy principles for different stages of market maturity;
· Assesses the impact and cost-effectiveness of support policies using new methodological tools and indicators;
· Investigates the strategic reasons underpinning the pursuit of RE deployment by different countries and the prospects for globalisation of RE.
This new book builds on and extends a 2008 IEA publication, drawing on recent policy and deployment experience world-wide. It provides guidance for policy makers and other stakeholders to avoid past mistakes, overcome new challenges and reap the benefits of deploying renewables – today and tomorrow.
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Technological change is undoubtedly one of the keys to ensuring that climate change can be addressed without compromising economic growth. This policy brief provides key messages promoting technological innovation to address climate change.
This 2011 review of energy policy in Greece finds that increasing competition and reducing the role of the state in the energy sector should add efficiency and dynamism to the economy. This, in turn, should help generate self-sustained employment and prosperity for the country.
Reforming the electricity and gas markets is an economic and political imperative. In particular, regulatory authorities must be given the necessary power and independence to reduce the market power of dominant firms. Commendably, Greece adopted a law to this end in August 2011. The envisaged reforms are fundamentally sound and can help the economy grow. The governmentfs key focus should now be on implementing this law in full without delay.
Greece has a large potential for wind and solar energy and is rightly determined to fulfill this potential. The renewable energy sector also provides opportunities for new industrial development, in particular if linked with R&D activities. To facilitate renewable energy projects, the government recently improved investment conditions significantly by increasing feed-in tariffs, shortening and simplifying the licensing procedures and introducing stronger incentives for local acceptance.
Greecefs oil and gas sources are already well diversified. Gas use is projected to increase, as the country moves to decarbonise its coal-dominated power sector. Experience from IEA member countries has shown that enhancing energy efficiency can help improve energy security in a cost-effective way. This, in turn, can help mitigate climate change and deliver economic benefits.
Investing in and managing water and sanitation is a complex challenge. In the context of the Global Forum on Environment this week, OECD looks at the financial realities of funding water infrastructure.
On the occasion of its 35th Anniversary in 2009, the International Energy Agency published the first edition of the Scoreboard focusing on 35 Key Energy Trends over 35 Years. In parallel, the IEA published Implementing Energy Efficiency Policies: Are IEA Member Countries on Track?. Both publications found that although IEA member countries were making progress in implementing energy efficiency, more work was needed.
In the 2011 edition of the Scoreboard, the IEA has decided to focus on energy efficiency. The publication combines analysis of energy efficiency policy implementation and recent indicator development. The resulting Scoreboard 2011 provides a fuller picture of the progress as well as the challenges with implementing energy efficiency policy in IEA member countries.
This Inventory provides reliable and comparable data on support or tax expenditures for fossil fuel production or use in OECD countries. Reforming fossil fuel subsidies can contribute to achieving economic and fiscal objectives, while also tackling environmental problems like climate change.
New Zealand, as a resource based economy anxious to protect and promote its clean and green image, appropriately sees green growth as a natural direction for future development.