Opportunities to transform the electricity sector in major economies

Recent actions by many governments to promote more efficient, cleaner sources of energy signify positive steps to help improve energy security and mitigate climate change. Transformation of the energy sector, however, requires that commitments to energy efficiency and clean energy be sustained on a global level for many years to come. Given current trends, the Major Economies must lead this transformation. They will account for 71% of incremental global energy demand and 73% of global energy-related CO2 emissions growth from 2008 to 2030; of this new energy demand, three-quarters will be met by fossil fuels. In 2008, the electricity sector within Major Economies was responsible for 39% of their primary energy demand and 42% of their energy-related CO2 emissions. Therefore, the electricity sector in this group of economies represents an important opportunity to transform the profile of energy supply. This background paper evaluates: The potential to improve efficiency of electricity generation from fossil fuels and accelerate clean energy deployment in the electricity sector of Major Economies; The costs and benefits of achieving those potentials; and, The impact of removing electricity consumption subsidies in Major Economies.

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