The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a flagship energy technology publication on 11 June, 2012 explaining how to enable and encourage technologies and behaviours to revolutionise the entire energy system and unlock tremendous economic benefits between now and 2050.
The book, Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP 2012), mentions that a host of new technologies is ready to transform the energy system, offering the potential to drastically reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy security and generate a huge investment return.
According to a release by IEA, ETP 2012 builds on the IEA's Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, issued in April, which said that despite some recent progress in deploying renewable energy, most clean energy technologies are not on track to make their required contribution to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and thereby provide a more secure energy system.
"While our efforts to bring about a clean energy transformation are falling further behind, I want to stress the golden opportunity before us: If significant policy action is taken, we can still achieve the huge potential for these technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and boost energy security," stated IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.
"Now that we have identified the solution and the host of related benefits, and with the window of opportunity closing fast, when will governments wake up to the dangers of complacency and adopt the bold policies that radically transform our energy system? To do anything less is to deny our societies the welfare they deserve," Maria said.
As per the publication, the technological revolution will not be cheap, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. ETP 2012 presents an investment plan that more than pays for itself through fuel savings by 2025.
It has also mentioned that the savings would triple by 2050. An additional $36 trillion of investment would be required to overhaul the world's current energy system by the middle of the century, but this would be offset by $100 trillion in savings through reduced use of fossil fuels.
ETP 2012 plans to establish a sustainable energy system featuring diverse sources, low-carbon electricity and an expanded infrastructure.