IEA Evaluated The Progress In Clean Energy Technologies

The IEA’s newly-enhanced Tracking Clean Energy Progress provides a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of a full range of energy technologies and sectors that are critical in a global clean-energy transition. It includes the most up-to-date information for where technologies are today and where they need to be according to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, a pathway to reach the Paris Agreement well below 2°C climate goal, deliver universal energy access and significantly lower air pollution.

Are clean energy technologies on track?

Some technologies have made tremendous progress in 2017 – particularly solar PV, LEDs and EVs – but most are not on track. Energy efficiency improvements have slowed and progress on key technologies like carbon capture and storage remains stalled.

The way ahead: a rapid transformation of the energy system

The Sustainable Development Scenario depicts a rapid but achievable transformation of the energy sector. Meeting long-term sustainability goals requires an ambitious combination of more energy efficient buildings, industry and transport, and more renewables and flexibility in power. Based on existing and announced policies – as described in the IEA New Policies Scenario – the world is not on course to achieve these goals.

How energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation effort

Decarbonising the power sector is a fundamental step to reducing emissions. It must be complemented by unprecedented efficiency improvements in buildings, addressing growing demand from cooling, heating and powered devices. The transport sector will need to undergo a major transformation, including shifts from oil to electricity to reap the benefits of clean power generation. Industry processes that can’t be easily electrified must cut emissions through efficiency, aggressive innovation and carbon capture. And energy integration technologies will become increasingly important as shares of variable renewables rise.

The critical importance of public and private innovation

The IEA’s most timely and comprehensive data ever indicates a very welcome 13% increase in 2017 for public innovation investment in clean energy technologies, breaking a streak of declines and stagnation over several years. Private-sector clean energy innovation grew by 4% in 2017. IEA’s new Innovation Tracking Framework identifies more than 100 key technology gaps that need to be addressed to meet clean transition goals.

Is the energy system on track?

IEA evaluates the current energy transition with three charts and assessments of energy-derived carbon emissions, energy density and energy density carbon intensity in the Tracking Clean Energy Progress.

The overall trend of decoupling economic growth from energy-related CO2 emissions continues despite a disappointing 1.4% increase in emissions in 2017. The improvement in energy intensity slowed down in 2017 due to weaker efficiency policies and low energy prices. There are signs that global energy supply has become cleaner over the past few years, but faster improvements are needed.

The IEA has prepared a set of key indicators that reflect the most important short-term actions that policymakers should focus on to drive the clean energy transition. Learn more about these high-level indicators.