Offshore wind farm

Policy doubts ‘threaten renewables boom’

Renewable energy grew at a pace in 2013, becoming a real force across the globe. But that momentum is at risk unless politicians get a grip, a new report has warned.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that power generation from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro grew strongly last year, reaching almost 22 per cent of global generation, and on par with electricity from gas.

Despite this, annual growth in new renewable power is set to slow after 2014, putting renewables at risk of falling short of the generation levels needed to meet global climate change goals, says the IEA.

“Renewables are a necessary part of energy security. However, just when they are becoming a cost-competitive option in an increasing number of cases, policy and regulatory uncertainty is rising in some key markets. This stems from concerns about the costs of deploying renewables,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.

“Governments must distinguish more clearly between the past, present and future, as costs are falling over time. Many renewables no longer need high incentive levels. Rather, given their capital-intensive nature, renewables require a market context that assures a reasonable and predictable return for investors. This calls for a serious reflection on market design needed to achieve a more sustainable world energy mix.”

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