Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 - Towards Sustainable Urban Energy Systems

Released 1 June 2016

Executive Summary, Table of Contents, Press ReleaseLaunch presentation

Cities drive economic growth but can also drive sustainable change. As the share of the world’s population living in cities rises, ambitious action in urban areas can be instrumental in achieving long‑term sustainability of the global energy system – including the carbon emission reductions required to meet the climate goals reached at COP21 in Paris. Support from national governments is a strategic prerequisite for leveraging the potential for sustainable energy technology and policy in cities that too often lies untapped.

With global energy demand set to become even greater over the coming decades, Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 (ETP 2016) looks at the technology and policy opportunities available for accelerating the transition to sustainable urban energy systems. Such potential could be the key to successfully driving an energy transition that many still think impossible, provided that local and national actions can be aligned to meet the sustainability objectives at both levels. Indeed, policies still have a long way to go in this regard: ETP 2016 presents the annual IEA Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, which finds once again that despite some notable progress, the rate of needed improvements is far slower than required to meet energy sector sustainability goals.

By setting out sustainable energy transition pathways that incorporate detailed and transparent quantitative analysis alongside well-rounded commentary, ETP 2016 and its series of related publications have become required reading not only for experts in the energy field, policy makers and heads of governments, but also for business leaders and investors. 

ETP 2016 purchase includes extensive downloadable data, figures and visualisations. 


Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2016

‌‌The annual ‌Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP) report highlights the development and deployment of key clean energy technologies year on year.

An excerpt of the publication Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP), which lays out pathways towards a sustainable energy system in 2050, this comprehensive overview tracks the evolution of select technologies and sectors against the interim 2025 targets of the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2°C Scenario (2DS). Each assessment includes three sections:

- Recent trends discusses the latest progress with reference to technology development and penetration as well as market creation

- Tracking progress includes a quantitative evaluation of progress towards meeting the 2DS

- Recommended actions outlines measures to overcome barriers to meeting the 2DS

TCEP 2016 features some good news: after record growth for the second year in a row, both solar photovoltaic and onshore wind are on track to meet the 2025 2DS targets; the number of electric vehicles passed the 1 million milestone in 2015; and the outlook for nuclear power improved, with the long-term 2DS targets more achievable than previously thought. However, most of the clean energy technologies examined are not on track. Therefore policy makers must build on the momentum from the Paris Agreement at COP21 and accelerate progress to make the technologies the new norm for energy systems.

TCEP 2016 – prepared for the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting where 23 member countries collaborate on solutions to advance clean energy globally – is an integral part of the specific recommendations to governments in ETP 2016 on how to scale up deployment of these key technologies to ensure a secure, clean and competitive energy future.

Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016

NETP-2016 coverThe IEA and Nordic Energy Research launched Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016‌ with a first event on 23 May in Stockholm. 

‌Based on the scenarios and analysis of Energy Technology Perspectives, the Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives series assesses how the Nordic region can achieve a carbon-neutral energy system by 2050. This study marks the second edition of the series.

Nordic governments can compare their national climate goals with the contribution required of them in the 2°C world described in Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. The analysis evaluates the region from an external perspective and points to the important role of the Nordic energy system in facilitating the decarbonisation of Europe.

Nordic Energy Research is an intergovernmental organisation supporting and co-ordinating sustainable energy research in the Nordic region.

Click here to download Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. To sign up to one of the other launch events, order a free hard copy of the report, or download figures from the report, visit

Energy Technology Perspectives 2015 - Mobilising Innovation to Accelerate Climate Action

ETP 2015 book cover thumbnailAvailable now at a 50% discount (75€ instead of 150€ for the print version).

‌As climate negotiators continue to work towards a deal that would limit the increase in global temperatures enough to hold global warming below 2 degrees C, interest keeps growing in the essential role technology innovation can and must play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon energy system. Indeed, recent success stories clearly indicate that there is significant and untapped potential for accelerating innovation in clean technologies if proper policy frameworks are in place.

In an especially timely analysis, the 2015 edition of Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP 2015) examines innovation in the energy technology sector and seeks to increase confidence in the feasibility of achieving short- and long-term climate change mitigation targets through effective research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D). ETP 2015 identifies regulatory strategies and co‑operative frameworks to advance innovation in areas like variable renewables, carbon capture and storage, and energy-intensive industrial sectors. The report also shows how emerging economies, and China in particular, can foster a low-carbon transition through innovation in energy technologies and policy. Finally, ETP 2015 features the IEA annual Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, which this year shows that efforts to decarbonise the global energy sector are lagging further behind.

By setting out pathways to a sustainable energy future and by incorporating detailed and transparent quantitative modelling analysis and well-rounded commentary, ETP 2015 and its series of related publications are required reading for experts in the energy field, policy makers and heads of governments, as well as business leaders and investors.

ETP 2015 purchase includes extensive downloadable data, figures and visualisations. 

 Executive Summary  Table of Contents  Press release  

Executive Summary in other languages Chinese  French  German  Japanese  Russian  Spanish Korean



Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2015

Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2015 examines progress in the development and deployment of key clean energy technologies. This Energy Technology Perspectives 2015 (ETP 2015) excerpt tracks each technology and sector against interim 2025 targets in the IEA 2015 Energy Technology Perspectives 2°C scenario, which lays out pathways to a sustainable energy system in 2050.

While renewable power generation continues to progress, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) are still increasing rapidly,  and a significant milestone for carbon capture and storage (CCS) was reached in 2014, the deployment rate of most clean energy technologies is no longer on track to meet 2DS targets. Overall, the growth rates of  clean energy technologies have slowed significantly and existing opportunities for deployment are not being exploited, preventing significant benefits being realised. Policy certainty, incentives, regulation and international co-operation are required to meet stated ambitions and transform the global energy system.

Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2015 provides, together with ETP 2015, specific recommendations to governments on how to scale up deployment of these key technologies toward a secure, clean and competitive energy future.

Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 - Harnessing Electricity's Potential

 Now available for free download, click here: 

Starting from the premise that electricity will be an increasingly important vector in energy systems of the future, Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 (ETP 2014) takes a deep dive into actions needed to support deployment of sustainable options for generation, distribution and end-use consumption. In addition to modelling the global outlook to 2050 under different scenarios, ETP 2014 incorporates the IEA's annual progress report on global efforts to engineer a clean-energy transformation. Moreover, ETP 2014 provides insight on many key questions about the future energy system, including:

  • How much will the transformation to a clean-energy system cost?
  • Is solar the answer to decarbonising the electricity supply?
  • How can technologies help continue to exploit the advantages of natural gas in a decarbonised energy system? 
  • Can electrification have a meaningful impact on transportation, and if so, how?
  • Is energy storage the game changer that many want to believe?
  • What will it take to reach high-efficiency power generation in India? 

Executive Summary  /  Table of Contents  /  Press release  

Executive Summary in other languages - Chinese / French / German / Japanese / Korean / Russian / Spanish

More Data, Less Energy

More Data, Less Energy cover‌The global electricity demand of information communication technology has reached 8% of total final electricity consumption.  This demand is increasing at a much more rapid rate than overall electricity demand.  More than a third of this electricity is used by devices connected to networks in homes and offices.  Most of this electricity is used not to perform any function, but simply being alert in case a signal from the network arrives. 

More Data, Less Energy: Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices looks at the rapidly increasing connectivity in a broad range of products, exploring how "everything is becoming smart" and "network-enabled". While consumers are devouring this new convenience and the extra functionality provided by network-enabled devices, the energy waste implications are big and getting bigger.  The book provides an overview of technology and policy options to improve the energy efficiency of network-enabled devices.  ‌ 

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Transition to Sustainable Buildings

Transition to Sustainable Buildings Buildings are the largest energy consuming sector in the world, and account for over one-third of total final energy consumption and an equally important source of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. Achieving significant energy and emissions reduction in the buildings sector is a challenging but achievable policy goal.

Transition to Sustainable Buildings presents detailed scenarios and strategies to 2050, and demonstrates how to reach deep energy and emissions reduction through a combination of best available technologies and intelligent public policy.     

Visit the publication page for additional information.