New IEA Report Shows Technology Can Transform Energy System but Emphasises Need for Decisive Policy Action Now

11 June 2012
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Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 is now on sale and may be ordered from IEA Bookshop. Please send a request by email to, or place an order through the IEA bookshop.

A host of new technologies is ready to transform the energy system, offering the potential to drastically reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy security and generate a huge investment return, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its flagship energy technology publication launched today.

The book, Energy Technology Perspectives 2012, explains how to enable and encourage technologies and behaviours that together will revolutionise the entire energy system and unlock tremendous economic benefits between now and 2050.

ETP 2012 builds on the IEA’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress, issued in April, which said that despite some recent progress in deploying renewable energy, most clean energy technologies are not on track to make their required contribution to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and thereby provide a more secure energy system.

“While our efforts to bring about a clean energy transformation are falling further behind, I want to stress the golden opportunity before us: If significant policy action is taken, we can still achieve the huge potential for these technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and boost energy security,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

“Now that we have identified the solution and the host of related benefits, and with the window of opportunity closing fast, when will governments wake up to the dangers of complacency and adopt the bold policies that radically transform our energy system? To do anything less is to deny our societies the welfare they deserve,” she said.

The technological revolution will not be cheap, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. ETP 2012 presents an investment plan that more than pays for itself through fuel savings by 2025. And, the savings would triple by 2050: An additional USD 36 trillion of investment would be required to overhaul the world’s current energy system by the middle of the century, but this would be offset by USD 100 trillion in savings through reduced use of fossil fuels.