Southeast Asia should diversify its energy sources and learn from Europe’s Russian ‘mistake’: head of global agency
He said various countries’ pivots to traditional fossil fuels are only temporary and immediate responses to the crisis, but do not change the path to cleaner energy in the long term.
“For example, in Europe where I live, countries are now changing their policies for a short time and using coal, the dirtiest fuel. But these are short-term solutions,” he said, adding that there is still a major acceleration in the adoption of clean energy around the world.
This is driven by three main factors, Dr Birol said, citing energy security, climate commitments and countries pushing clean energy solutions for industrial policy reasons.
He cited the United States, Japan, Europe, India and China as examples where governments provide tax incentives, subsidies and different types of support to encourage the use of renewable energy.
“When I look at the numbers, which we do at the IEA almost every day, I see that this year we are going to see an unprecedented increase renewable energy growth – more than 20% – which has never happened in history,” added Dr. Birol.
He also noted a “huge” increase in the adoption of electric cars globally and suggested that soon one in two cars sold in China, Europe and the United States will be electric.
Due to the current energy crisis, Dr Birol said, “we have a turning point towards a better, cleaner and ultimately more secure energy future.”
The ongoing energy crisis was sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Dr Birol said, adding that it made the country’s situation worse.
“Russia is losing the energy war, and is losing it badly,” he said.