Structural changes need to be made to energy markets to allow more renewable energy to be used, according to a new report.

The International Energy Association’s (IEA’s) flagship World Energy Outlook said demand-side response and energy storage will be essential once renewables’ share of the energy mix hits 25%.

Renewables could provide as much as 60% of the world’s energy by 2040, with the majority coming from solar and wind.
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said: “Renewables make very large strides in coming decades but their gains remain largely confined to electricity generation.

“The next frontier for the renewable story is to expand their use in the industrial, building and transportation sectors where enormous potential for growth exists.”

Government policies

Birol added: “We see clear winners for the next 25 years – natural gas but especially wind and solar – replacing the champion of the previous 25 years, coal.

“But there is no single story about the future of global energy: in practice, government policies will determine where we go from here.”

Coal consumption is predicted to remain flat over the next 25 years.

> Download the report's executive summary