IEA releases 2012 report on tracking clean energy progress

April 27, 2012

The International Energy Agency released its 2012 Tracking Clean Energy Progress report during the third annual Clean Energy Ministerial in London.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, the report tracks progress in the clean energy sector, as the use of technologies that help to reduce energy-related emissions was studied by the IEA.

The report highlights how the progress that has been made in the clean energy sector is still not enough to reverse the climbing CO2 emissions, which are at a historic high and could impact the global economy more than initially expected.

However, the report noted that the transition to energy efficient practices is certainly feasible, as the technology exists and many governments around the world are working to reduce their emission levels.

"In summary, the following analysis finds that a few clean energy technologies are currently on track to meet the 2DS objectives," said the authors of the report. "Cost reductions over the past decade and significant annual growth rates have been seen for onshore wind (27 percent) and solar photo-voltaic (PV) (42 percent). This is positive, but maintaining this progress will be challenging."

The report highlighted the need for more progress in the energy efficient buildings sector, as commercial and residential structures still consume a significant amount of resources and are responsible for a high level of emissions across the world.

"Private sector financing will only reach the levels required if governments create and maintain supportive business environments for low-carbon energy technologies," the authors of the report noted.

The EIA recommended a number of ways that national governments could bring about a change in each industry, as certain initiatives and policies can be adopted by leaders in order to provide motivation for the private sector to adopt new practices.

The U.S. Department of Energy has been a global leader in the push for more commercial structures, as it designated an innovation HUB for the progression of technology and research in the sector.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) is an effort that is headquartered at the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard. The innovation HUB is comprised of the smartest minds from academia, government, the energy development industry and private sector, and relies upon the use of the extensive building stock available in the city.