Renewables 'will overtake gas by 2015'

Renewable sources will generate more electricity than gas-powered plants by 2015, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The agency's annual World Energy Outlook claims that only coal will be ahead of renewables in the electricity generation stakes in that time, even under pessimistic assumptions.

According to the report: "Renewables-based electricity generation is expected to grow substantially over the coming decades, benefiting from high fossil-fuel prices, declining investment costs and government support."

The prediction takes into account both 'new renewables' such as wind, wave, tidal and biomass as well as the more established hydropower sector.

Despite this prediction, the IEA also claims that on current trends, energy related carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 45 per cent between 2006 and 2030.

Almost all of the emission growth will take place outside the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and three quarters of it will take place in China, India and the Middle East.

Energy and Climate Change minister Ed Milliband has committed the UK to reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

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