The International Energy Agency (IEA) looks each year at the energy sector from an economic point of view (in a global context). The report is then published that looks also at tech and policy changes, and from there it makes some predictions. This year’s report claims a spike in demand for renewable energy production is on the horizon for the next two dozen years. The report was created after world leaders met in Paris this year concerning carbon levels (yet before our presidential election).
The report points out that carbon emissions have been static the past several years as the global economy showed growth, and thus it just might be that using renewables and becoming more efficient with fossil fuel combustion has broken a correlation between development and carbon levels throughout the world. More transportation being run off of electricity has possibly helped, as has a switch in financial incentives (from fossil to renewables).
The report expects global energy demand to increase by a third in the next two dozen years, which points to all types of current power production sources also increasing. Some nations like are going through an economic shift from manufacturing to service industries per growth, and this means they may well use less coal while other countries may have to change their power production regime to almost two thirds renewable sources to help meet the IEA’s goals.
What we don’t know is how our U.S. elections will effect or fit into the overall estimates and goals the IEA has set up. If Britain leaving the EU is just the start of other countries pulling out, that could effect the IEA’s scenarios (as could OPEC’s possible dissolution). Governmental policies of individual nation states and collaborations between nation states may more important than the technology and science in predicting and adjusting carbon levels.