Energy: a call not to sacrifice the budgets of research
PARIS — The world will need technological innovations in the energy sector to achieve its climate goals, stressed on Thursday the international energy Agency (IEA), in urging governments not to sacrifice the budgets of research.
“In the absence of innovations is much faster in favour of clean energy, it will be nearly impossible to achieve the goals of zero net issuance by 2050,” warns the executive director Fatih Birol at the presentation of a report devoted to the subject. This is particularly the case for some sectors in which there is currently no available technology to avoid emissions of greenhouse gases: transportation of goods by ship and truck, aviation and some heavy industries (steel, cement, chemistry).
It will be necessary to develop new technologies to make these specific activities. However, the process is long and success is not guaranteed. “It took decades for the solar panels and the batteries reach the point where they are at. Time missing even more today”, underlined by the IEA, which advises developed countries on energy policy.
The agency also refers to these existing technologies — offshore wind, electric vehicles, capture and sequestration of carbon — of which the price should be lowered and the deployment will accelerate. It is calculated that three-quarters of the reductions in CO2 emissions necessary to put the world on a sustainable path, are derived from technologies that have not yet reached their maturity.
All of this will require investments, today challenged by the economic crisis following the pandemic of the COVID-19. The companies that are working on these solutions for fear that their R&D budgets are trimmed, according to a survey of the IEA.
“This is not the time to undermine the support for this essential work. This is the time to strengthen it”, souigne Mr. Birol. Despite the financial difficulties, the agency encourages governments to maintain budgets for research and development, and even to increase in some areas. It also makes a series of other recommendations, such as giving priority to the most promising technologies, build the infrastructure necessary to their development or to collaborate at a global level to find solutions.