Kick in the pants time: IEA says smart grid and clean energy progress too slow


By: SGN Staff


By Jesse Berst


Quick Take: In the early days, clean energy meant renewables to most people. The smart grid was (at best) an afterthought.

Today, however, the smart grid is front and center in the clean energy debate. Its central role and vital importance are now widely accepted. That's the good news. The bad news, according to the International Energy Agency, is that things are not going well - not for smart grid nor for renewables, as the IEA's Executive Director expressed in the foreword to the 2013 version of the agency's annual progress report.


As you will see, the report cites the smart grid as one of the few bright spots but also asks for improvements.


IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven did not pull punches in her introduction to the IEA's just released Tracking Clean Energy Progress. She had "stark messages:"

  • Progress is not fast enough
  • Glaring market failures are preventing clean energy adoption
  • Energy efficiency potential remains untapped
  • R&D must accelerate
  • In particular, we are failing to make progress in carbon capture and storage (CCS)
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