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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released "Deploying Renewables: Principles for Effective Policies," which estimates nearly 50% of global electricity supplies will have to come from renewable energy sources if carbon dioxide emissions are to be cut in half by 2050.

In the study, the IEA carried out a comparative analysis of the performance of the various renewables promotion policies around the world. Thirty-five countries, including the U.S., were included in the study.

In 2005, these countries accounted for 80% of total global commercial renewable electricity generation, 77% of commercial renewable heating/cooling (excluding the use of traditional biomass) and 98% of renewable transport fuel production.

The report shows that there are still significant barriers that hamper a swift expansion and increase the costs of accelerating renewables' transition into the mainstream. If these were removed, it "could allow the great potential of renewables to be exploited much more rapidly and to a much larger extent," says Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the IEA.

"Setting a carbon price is not enough," Tanaka explains. "To foster a smooth and efficient transition of renewables towards mass market integration, renewable energy policies should be designed around a set of fundamental principles, inserted into predictable, transparent and stable policy frameworks, and implemented in an integrated approach."

The report recommends removal of non-economic barriers, such as administrative hurdles, obstacles to grid access, poor electricity market design, lack of information and training, and the tackling of social acceptance issues.

It also encourages the development and implementation of appropriate incentives guaranteeing a specific level of support to different technologies based on their degree of technology maturity in order to exploit the significant potential of the large basket of renewable energy technologies over time.

For more information, visit iea.org

SOURCE: International Energy Agency

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