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IEA warns against past mistakes for renewable energy deployment

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released guidance for policy makers and other stakeholders to avoid past mistakes, overcome new challenges and reap the benefits of deploying renewable energy.

By Kari Williamson

The book, Deploying Renewables 2011: Best and Future Policy Practice, analyses the recent successes in renewable energy, which now accounts for almost a fifth of all electricity produced worldwide, and addresses how countries can best capitalise on that growth to realise a sustainable energy future.

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven says renewable energy deployment must be stepped up: "As the IEA’s analysis has shown, without an urgent and radical change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system.

"Renewables already play a central role in fostering sustainability and energy security, and their significance will only grow in the coming decades. Against this backdrop, Deploying Renewables 2011 provides a major review of renewable energy markets and policies at this critical juncture."

IEA says the growth in renewable energy has so far focused on just a few of the available technologies, and rapid deployment is confined to a relatively small number of countries. In more advanced markets, managing support costs and system integration of large shares of renewable energy in a time of economic weakness and budget austerity has sparked vigorous political debate.

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