The threat of climate change and the need to curb global greenhouse gas emissions has become a defining factor of energy policy. In spite of the sometimes disappointing pace of international negotiations, and also recent developments in nuclear policy and gas markets which are likely to increase the use of fossil fuels, advances in the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies, smart grids, carbon capture, energy efficiency, and other technologies are encouraging signs on the road to a low-carbon economy.
An effective response to climate change requires policy, technology, business and behavioural changes across all energy producing and consuming activities. Electricity production and its use are emblematic of the climate challenge. On one hand, electricity can effectively meet a growing demand for more efficient services, such as in personal mobility where electric vehicles are set to play an important future role. On the other hand, power generation has been the greatest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions over the past two decades, in spite of the rapid growth of renewable energy sources. Both World Energy Outlook and Energy Technology Perspectives scenarios show that deep cuts in global CO2 emissions require the decarbonisation of electricity generation, combined with a growing penetration of electricity in a range of end-uses.
Climate & Electricity Annual 2011: Data and analyses intends to shed light on multiple aspects of this issue, including an objective look at current trends in electricity. These confirm the need for an intense effort to curb the CO2 intensity of electricity generation. Now is the time for enhanced policy action to drive change. The publication therefore includes individual papers that address current debates, shed light on technology solutions, and pose pressing policy questions about the decarbonisation of power generation. They are based on the latest IEA work across the whole of the electricity sector. It is my hope that this first Climate & Electricity Annual 2011 will contribute to a better knowledge across both electricity and climate policy communities about the challenges ahead, and to more effective and integrated responses.
The Climate & Electricity Annual 2011 is published under my authority as Executive Director of the IEA.
Executive Director International Energy Agency
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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.