International Energy Agency 'blocking global switch to renewables'Published by MAC on 2009-01-13
Source: Guardian (UK)
The international body that advises most major governments across the world on energy policy is obstructing a global switch to renewable power because of its ties to the oil, gas and nuclear sectors, a group of politicians and scientists claims today.
The experts, from the Energy Watch group, say the International Energy Agency (IEA) publishes misleading data on renewables, and that it has consistently underestimated the amount of electricity generated by wind power in its advice to governments. They say the IEA shows "ignorance and contempt" towards wind energy, while promoting oil, coal and nuclear as "irreplaceable" technologies.
In a report to be published today, the Energy Watch experts say wind-power capacity has rocketed since the early 90s and that if current trends continue, wind and solar power-generation combined are on track to match conventional generation by 2025.
Rudolf Rechsteiner, a member of the Swiss parliament who sits on its energy and environment committee, and wrote today's report, said the IEA suffered from "institutional blindness" on renewable energy. He said: "They are delaying the change to a renewable world. They continue touting nuclear and carbon-capture-and-storage, classical central solutions, instead of a more neutral approach, which would favour new solutions."
Today's report compares past predictions about the growth of wind power, made by the IEA and others, with the capacity of wind turbines actually installed.