Governments are not taking quick enough action, and power generation is still dominated by the fossil fuel industry. Experts have warned that the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees during this century is quickly disappearing.
Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, said that a lack of action by world leaders has led to the stall of widespread adaptation of clean energy. In fact, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that global clean energy investment was at its lowest level in four years in the first quarter of 2013.
Coal-fired energy grew by 45% between 2000 and 2010, a rate that far outpaced the 25% growth in non-fossil fuel energy during the same period. Shale gas technology has had some effect on people switching from fossil fuels to natural gas in the US, but energy in Europe is still primarily fossil fuel driven.
The IEA report stated that the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is important to the future of energy and to stave off global warming, but there are currently no commercial plants in operation.
CCS buries and traps CO2 underground, and the IEA hopes that this could play an enormous role in reducing global CO2 emissions. In fact, the IEA envisions a world where 63% of coal plants would be equipped with CCS technology by 2050.
Nuclear plant construction is also considerably behind target and global biofuel production has also stalled.
There is some positive news. Between 2011 and 2012, solar photovoltaic energy grew by 42% and wind power grew by 19%.