Home > Uncategorized > And another one cooks the books, International Energy Agency edition

And another one cooks the books, International Energy Agency edition

The IEA is the International Energy Agency. According to data from Energy Watch Group it is either deliberately cooking the books or extremely incompetent and in its flagship publication ´World Energy Outlook´systematically underestimating the explosive growth of renewable energy. Already available data which show this explosive growth were left out of the Outlook, to enable a dismal projection of the growth of solar and wind. Again. Here, a graph from Energy Watch which compares the IEA projections with reality and which shows that the IEA does not learn from past mistakes.


From the pv magazine website: 

 “The IEA has been holding back the global energy transition for years. The false .. predictions lead to high investments in fossil and nuclear sector, hinder global development of renewable energy and undermine the global fight against climate change Following its comment in September that the International Energy Agency (IEA) is “holding back” global renewable expansion by consistently underestimating its supply potential, the Energy Watch Group (EWG) has now released graphics highlighting the shortfalls in the agency’s solar PV projections. IEA’s solar PV projections have “consistently” missed the mark…The group says that on the back of outdated data, the IEA, in its WEO2015 issued in November, failed to see solar’s market growth in 2014, and the newly added capacity record for this year, which it says was already apparent back in September.. “In particular, the IEA makes the highly unlikely assumption that the market growth for PV drops in 2014 and the annual added capacity remains lower than in 2013 for the next decades,” states EWG. “For a still young world market, these are highly unlikely assumptions, which could only be conceivable if political decisions would regulate solar power as undesirable worldwide.

  1. December 2, 2015 at 4:21 am

    In its 2011 publication “Social Energy Perspectives” the IEA identifies the following as policy needs for solar’s continued growth,
    “A broad range of policies will be needed to unlock the considerable potential of solar energy.
    They include establishing incentives for early deployment, removing non-economic barriers,
    developing public-private partnerships, subsidising research and development, and developing effective encouragement and support for innovation. New business and financing models are required, in particular for up-front financing of off-grid solar electricity and process heat technologies in developing countries.
    The number of governments at all levels who consider implementing policies to support the
    development and deployment of solar energy is growing by the day. However, few so far have
    elaborated comprehensive policy sets.”
    The EIA is also concerned about the affordability of solar, especially as tax incentives, feed-in tariffs, etc. begin to go away.

    This may explain in part the IEA’s reluctance to make as robust a forecast for the future of solar power as some of its supporters demand.

    • merijnknibbe
      December 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Dear Ken,

      Good remark, however, since 2010 prices of solar panels have declined dramatically and investments have shot up while new financing models are developed all the time. Clearly, a vigorous grass roots market response. I totally agree that still ‘A broad range of policies will be needed’ to accomodate this, like halting development of and investment in conventional power plans, and to develop and, especially, push smart grid solutions but governments have wasted time and lost the leading role (one example: it is only because of a ruling of the European court of justice, and not because of active government polities, that EU citizens are, since Juli 2013, able to get a refund of VAT included in the price of solar cells when they supply electricity to the grid). For some reason, the IEA does not acknowledge this situation of a vigorous market response and out of time governments. To out detriment. Weird.

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