New World Energy Outlook report argues that measures to ramp up energy efficiency and electric heating systems will be vital to trying to limit global warming to 1.5 deg C

The International Energy Agency is calling for a drive to electrify heat and transport to be a major priority for global decarbonisation. These commitments should also backed by a massive push to expand clean electricity generation.

The group’s World Energy Outlook has identified four priorities for ensuring that global targets to limit average global temperature rises to 1.5 deg C of pre-industrial levels are met. These are also expected to match different national commitments to decarbonise their economies within the next 30 years.

These priorities include increased heat electrification, along with material improvements in the energy efficiency of systems and buildings, a drive to cut methane from fossil fuel production and improved innovation to develop market ready clean energy approaches such as carbon capture systems.

The report called for doubling of solar PV and wind energy deployment as well as expansion of other low emissions energy that could include nuclear power.  It added that these measures should be backed by greater flexibility within energy systems and a rapid phasing out of coal use alongside an overall drive to electrify heat.

Legal targets introduced in the UK to complete reduce or offset the nation’s carbon emissions by 2050 are expected to see a reduced reliance on oil and gas derived from fossil fuel. This is anticipated to be a result of planned efficiency improvements in buildings and an end to using fossil fuel-fired boilers, according to the IEA.

The outlook report said, “Reaching this point will require policies that assist households with the additional upfront costs of efficiency improvements and low emissions equipment such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.”

The publication follows the announcement that the UK government will be committing to fully decarbonise its electricity generation needs by 2035 as a step towards ramping up national commitments to cleaner power and heat.  This brings forward the UK’s previous renewable energy ambition by 15 years.


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