Greenpeace's response to the IEA World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2006: misguided solutions
Greenpeace today criticised the IEA World Energy Outlook report as a wasted opportunity. While it is important that the IEA has finally recognised the need to drastically change the global energy supply in light of climate change, it has offered 'business as usual' solutions, which are not commensurate with the problems it seeks to solve.
What is needed is real leadership and real solutions.
The IEA's assessment lacks clarity, focus and realism because:
* It grossly underestimates the ready potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy - which already play a larger role than the IEA projects for nuclear power in 2030
* Even the IEA's 'alternative' energy scenario estimates that 730 new coal power plants would be needed until 2030 - that is one coming on-stream every 2 weeks - clearly this is both unsustainable and unrealistic
* The IEA's nuclear plan would require more than 200 new nuclear reactors in the next 24 years, which is neither desirable nor realistic
* The capital and subsidies for such unrealistic expansion of coal and nuclear would be so huge that they would strangle investment in renewables and energy-efficiency, which the world desperately needs
The IAE scenario underestimates the potential of tried and tested technologies and techniques (such as renewables and energy efficiency), whilst relying heavily on unproven technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
Greenpeace believes that by maximizing energy efficiencies and renewable energies, the world can supply the energy it needs sustainably, safely and economically - all while averting dangerous climate change. What we need to tackle climate change is an international body which can provide strong leadership and sound, practical and realistic solutions, using techniques already known to work well.