Published on June 07, 2017
The global energy system is moving closer to a historic transformation. This year’s edition of the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s comprehensive publication on energy technology focuses on the opportunities and challenges of scaling and accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies. This includes looking at more ambitious scenarios than the IEA has produced before.
Improvements in technology continue to modify the outlook for the energy sector, driving changes in business models, energy demand and supply patterns as well as regulatory approaches. Energy security, air quality, climate change and economic competitiveness are increasingly being factored in by decision makers. Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 (ETP 2017) details these trends as well as the technological advances that will shape energy security and environmental sustainability for decades to come.
For the first time, ETP 2017 looks at how far clean energy technologies could move the energy sector towards higher climate change ambitions if technological innovations were pushed to their maximum practical limits. The analysis shows that, while policy support would be needed beyond anything seen to date, such a push could result in greenhouse gas emission levels that are consistent with the mid-point of the target temperature range of the global Paris Agreement on climate change. The analysis also indicates that regardless of the pathway chosen for the energy sector transformation, policy action is needed to ensure that multiple economic, security and other benefits to the accelerated deployment of clean energy technologies are realised through a systematic and co-ordinated approach.
ETP 2017 also features the annual IEA Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, which shows that the current progress in clean energy technology development and deployment remains sub-optimal. It highlights that progress has been substantial where policies have provided clear signals on the value of technology innovation. But many technology areas still suffer from a lack of financial and policy support.