The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published its "third comprehensive tracking of progress in clean energy technology," and the conclusions should be a wake-up call for policymakers in governments around the world. According to IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven:
...Stark messages emerge from our analysis: progress is not fast enough; glaring market failures are preventing adoption of clean energy solutions; considerable energy efficiency potential remains untapped; policies must better address the energy system as a whole; and energy-related research, development and demonstration all need to accelerate.
The view isn't all negative, fortunately. According to Maria van der Hoeven:
Alongside these grim messages there are also positive developments. In 2012, sales of hybrid-electric vehicles passed the one million mark. Solar photovoltaic systems continued to be installed at a record pace, contrary to many expectations. Emerging economies are stepping up their efforts to promote and develop clean energy. The costs of most clean energy technologies fell more rapidly than anticipated. Many countries, including emerging economies, introduced or strengthened energy efficiency regulations...
Despite this good news, however, the overall message from the report is sobering: namely, that the world is not doing nearly enough to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. The answer, in the IEA's view, is clear: that "[i]t is time the governments of the world took the actions needed to unleash the potential of technology," for the sake of "our economies, our citizens and our children."