The International Energy Agency (IEA) has long been criticized for lowballing the potential for renewable power and overestimating future demand for oil and gas.
Such forecasts matter. After all, the Paris-based organization is made up of 29 OECD countries — including Canada and the United States — and regularly produces publications that help member countries plan and coordinate energy policies.
That’s why it was particularly shocking when the IEA concluded in its latest Energy Technology Perspectives report that almost 75 per cent of the emissions reductions needed for its “2°C Scenario” will come from energy efficiency and renewables.
The real superstar of the report was energy efficiency, which the authors estimated would account for 34 per cent of reductions, resulting in global net-zero emissions by 2060.
“It’s not the sexiest thing,” Pembina Institute analyst Julia-Maria Becker said in an interview. “People aren't aware of its benefits.”
Triple-paned windows and improved insulations isn’t quite as riveting as, say, a wind farm or geothermal plant.