Shift fossil fuel subsidies to back clean tech-IEA

Wed Apr 6, 2011 12:44pm GMT

* Fossil fuel subsidies $312 bln vs $57 bln for renewables

* Renewable power needs to double by 2020 to 7,000 TWh

By Nina Chestney

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) - Fossil fuel subsidies worth $312 billion should be realigned to ensure the growth of renewable energy and curb the world's reliance on carbon-intensive fuels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report.

Demand for fossil fuels is outstripping the deployment of cleaner technologies. Renewable energy has seen growth rates of 30 to 40 percent over recent years but coal has met 47 percent of global new electricity demand over the past decade, the IEA said in its "Clean Energy Progress Report" on Wednesday.

To change this, the IEA suggests realigning fossil fuel subsidies to support clean energy, providing more incentives for private sector investment and market mechanisms.

Fossil fuels received $312 billion in subsidies as of 2009 compared to $57 billion for renewable energy, the report said.

"A number of countries have shown that achieving rapid transition to cleaner technologies is possible and can be done from the bottom up," said IEA deputy executive director Richard Jones.   Continued...

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