While the number of wind farms, solar energy powerplants and hybrid cars are growing constantly, the World’s energy production is as ‘dirty’ today as it was 20 years ago.
The depressing statement comes from the International Energy Agency in a new report called Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2013, that has looked at how the World is doing, if we are going to live up to the goal of limiting temperatures rising by no more than two degrees.
“Stark messages emerge: progress has not been fast enough; large market failures are preventing clean energy solutions from being taken up; considerable energy-efficiency potential remains untapped; policies need to better address the energy system as a whole; and energy-related research, development and demonstration need to accelerate,” the report states.
The report uses an indicator called Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index that measures how many tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2, are emitted per unit of energy supplied. In 1990 that number was 2.39 tonnes CO2, whereas the same number in 2010 was 2.37 tonnes.
Part of the reason for this might be found in the ongoing US shale gas bonanza that has meant lower gas prices in the US. That, in turn, has meant that the price of coal has fallen, leading several European countries to use more coal instead of gas in their powerplants.