Today, 50 years on from the oil shock that led to the founding of the IEA – International Energy Agency, the world once again faces a moment of high geopolitical tensions, with significant uncertainty in the energy sector driven by a crisis in the Middle East.
However, the global energy system has also changed considerably since the early 1970s – and further changes are quickly unfolding before us, with considerable implications for efforts to tackle climate change and ensure energy security.
Under today’s policy settings, clean energy technologies are set to play a much greater role in 2030 than they do today. These projections see:
- Nearly 10 times as many electric cars on the road
- Renewables accounting for nearly 50% of the global electricity mix, up from around 30% today
- Heat pumps and other electric heating systems outselling gas boilers globally
- Peaks in demand for oil, gas and coal by 2030
Even so, demand for fossil fuels is set to remain much too high to keep within reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 °C. The report “World Energy Outlook 2023“ by IEAfinds that despite the impressive clean energy growth we’re now seeing, emissions are still set to push up global average temperatures by around 2.4 °C this century, based on today’s policy settings.
Given this trajectory, WEO-2023 proposes an urgent global strategy to ensure the 1.5 °C target remains on the table. By 2030, the world needs to:
- Triple global renewable energy capacity
- Double the rate of energy efficiency improvements
- Slash methane emissions from fossil fuel operations by 75%
- Develop innovative, large-scale financing mechanisms to triple clean energy investments in emerging and developing economies
- Pursue measures to ensure an orderly decline in the use of fossil fuels
Concrete plans to meet these objectives can form a basis for success at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai in late November and early December.
For more in-depth and authoritative analysis of all the key parts of the global energy system, read World Energy Outlook 2023.