The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a new report on Wednesday acknowledging renewable energy as an increasingly cost effective energy source. The new report even went on to justify subsidies for green energy and acknowledge that renewable energy growth rates are in line to attain levels needed for a sustainable energy future.
Although researchers and environmentalists have long acknowledged renewable energy as an increasingly competitiveness source of energy, this is a landmark report for the IEA, which had always been recognized for its support of the fossil fuel industry.
The Agency recognized that renewable energy has grown rapidly over the past 5 years and now represents 20 percent of the world’s power generation. With emerging economies such as China turning to solar and wind for their future energy needs, renewable energy will only continue its inevitable march towards cost parity with fossil fuels.
Contrary to arguments that renewable energy is only viable through costly government subsidies, the IEA stated that “a portfolio of renewable energy (RE) technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support.”
However, the IEA recognized that subsidies are still justified for renewable energy, in order to attach a “price signal to the environmental and energy security benefits of RE deployment.”
But does the IEA go far enough in recognizing renewable energy as a competitive energy source?
An interesting article over at CleanTechnica suggests that renewable energy is in many cases, more competitive than fossil fuels. For instance, when you take a more holistic look at the health, environmental, and energy security benefits associated with renewable energy deployment, it seems likely that renewable energy is an economic winner in the long run – especially since coal energy has numerous (and often hidden) health consequences.
The IEA’s recent report serves as a much-needed clean energy endorsement leading up to the climate talks in Durban. Hopefully it will provide the necessary ammunition to encourage governments to work together on effective climate change policies and embrace renewable energy as an economically viable means of achieving a sustainable future.
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