The IEA's Van der Hoeven noted that "the potential also exists for a similarly transformative shift in global energy efficiency." Fuel efficiency, for instance, has improved in the transportation sector. The clean energy industry has seen an influx of solar and wind efforts.
Fossil fuels, which enjoyed a 30% jump in subsidies last year to $523 billion worldwide, will continue to surpass renewable energy sources, according to the IEA. But so-called green power will become the world's second-largest form of electricity generation within three years and will threaten coal's supremacy by 2035.
That progression, however, "hinges critically on continued subsidies" for wind, solar and biofuel technologies, which last year amounted to about $88 billion and needs to reach $4.8 trillion through 2035 to approach coal's dominance, the IEA report said.
Even then, "the world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path," according to the report.