Increasing the speed of global renewable energy adoption by at least a factor of six critical to meeting energy-related emission reduction needs of the Paris Climate Agreement can limit global temperature rise to two degrees centigrade, according to the latest edition of IRENA’s long-term renewable energy outlook. Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, finds that increasing cumulative energy system investment by 30 per cent by 2050 in favour of renewable energy and energy efficiency can create more than 11 million energy-sector jobs.
Global renewable energy deployment needs a six-fold increase in order to begin to achieve the Paris climate agreement goals, a new report from IRENA said. During IRENA's launch of its Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050 at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, it stated that the historic climate accord of Paris in 2015 seeks at minimum to limit average global temperature rise to below 2 degrees in this century compared to the pre-industrial levels.
Solar and wind power projects are increasing in the area around the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. In the last six months, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos have signed agreements to produce 6,000 megawatts of electricity from wind and solar. IRENA said that the cost of solar power had fallen by 73 percent from 2010 to 2017. The cost is expected to fall below that of hydropower by 2020.
Thai energy companies are on a roll. The national oil and gas champion, a coal miner and power utility, upstart solar and wind companies, virtually all are expanding across Southeast Asia. The growth trend is clearest in renewables, where Thailand is the first Southeast Asia nation to crack the top 15 solar power generators, according to the IRENA.
The UAE government has pledged to invest US$163 billion to produce roughly half of its power supply from clean energy sources by 2050. For now, renewable energy makes up just 1 per cent of the UAE’s power generation, said Zoheir Hamedi, a Middle East expert at IRENA. Hamedi said the country’s commitment to the energy transformation “is real”.
“This latest data confirms that the global energy transition continues to move forward at a fast pace, thanks to rapidly falling prices, technology improvements and an increasingly favourable policy environment, said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Renewable energy is now the solution for countries looking to support economic growth and job creation, just as it is for those seeking to limit carbon emissions, expand energy access, reduce air pollution and improve energy security.”
The global renewable energy generation capacity increased by 167 gigawatt to reach 2,179 GW by the end of 2017, representing an average annual growth of 8.3 percent for seven consecutive years, a report said. IRENA said its newly published report entitled "Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018" is the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible figures on renewable energy capacity statistics, as it contains nearly 15,000 data points from more than 200 countries and territories.
Investment in renewable energy continues to grow at a record pace as countries look to move away from fossil fuel-based power production to eco-friendly generation. Over half of world's new solar capacity is in China. The continuing decline in costs for solar electricity is driving the expansion of its production, the report's authors say. In fact, the cost of solar power production plunged 73 percent between 2010 and 2017, according to IRENA, which predicts it will continue to fall.
More UK electricity was produced by wind and solar sources last year than by nuclear power stations, for the first time according to the latest government figures. Renewables’ share of electricity generation shot up to 29 per cent, while nuclear sources accounted for around 21 per cent. Previous analysis by IRENA has demonstrated that onshore wind farms in particular already have the capacity to out compete fossil fuels
South-East Asian countries need to set clear policy and regulatory frameworks for investors to want to invest in renewable energy, according to the top official of International IRENA. The costs of renewable energy investments depend on regulatory and policy frameworks, said IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin. While costs of renewable energy technologies have already fallen tremendously, and many countries are also keen to adopt renewables.
India must strengthen grid infrastructure to support its "strong push" towards renewable energy especially solar, said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z Amin. Adnan calls for a clear long-term reliable policy framework and hedge mechanism to attract investors. Given long-term reliable policy framework, investors would come to the table for renewable projects, he added.
India should strengthen its power grids and put an emphasis on a clear policy framework to bring down the cost of capital investments, the head of IRENA said, as the nation aims for ambitious renewable energy targets. “I think the main constraint in India is not going to be investment for renewables. The main constraint in India right now is whether they can strengthen their grid,” Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA said on the sidelines of the launch of Singapore International Energy Week 2018.
The Winter Olympics in 2022 will have a low carbon footprint with the Chinese host city committing to more renewables, an international partner said. Beijing and the city of Zhangjiakou are co-hosts for the 2022 games. During the weekend, IRENA said it partnered with Zhangjiakou to develop a low-carbon road map that sees it draw 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.
There is a huge opportunity in South East Asia and the prospects for renewables are great. The business case for electricity generation via mini-grids is "far better" than diesel generation, says Adnan Z. Amin Director-General of IRENA. As solar mini-grids are becoming more economical we see a rapid change in the region.
The past seven years have witnessed a significant decline in the cost of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, which have rapidly gained market share in power production around the world. Japan has lagged sharply behind this global trend, however. Foreign Minister Taro Kono, speaking at a gathering of IRENA, said Japan is aiming for a 22-24 percent share of renewables in the electricity supply by 2030.
The rise of renewables is also expected to lead to a boom in energy storage because stored energy can be used to iron out those fluctuations in supply. While this established type of storage is set to grow, its dominance is predicted to fall to around half of the global total by 2030, as other forms of energy storage catch up, IRENA says.
When in January a global commission to study the geopolitics of clean energy was launched under the auspices of IRENA, the underlying hope was that such a development would make the world “more peaceful, stable and boring”. Champions of clean energy believe that boring is good. Unlike hydrocarbons, renewable energy is potentially available almost anywhere. Collaborative efforts to halt global warming could lead to open-source development and the sharing of technology.
Cities are responsible for 70 percent of manmade CO2 emissions, according to IRENA. Cars, heating, cooling and lighting systems work round the clock, consuming energy and pumping out emissions. But more and more cities are aiming to source a growing share of that energy from renewables, to become more sustainable and, ultimately, combat climate change.
Investment in renewables must triple to reach 2050 targets, warns Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA. But, for the first time, as the costs of renewable power continues to fall, due to lower equipment costs, improvement in performance and tenders putting pressure on prices, it seems there is a real possibility of achieving that goal. Mr. Amin says: “The ecosystem of energy is changing, and we’re seeing the impact of renewable energy in economic and social terms.
Ukraine has become a full member of IRENA, which allows Ukraine to enter the global market of renewable energy. The participation in IRENA would also enable Ukraine to upgrade its legislation in the sphere of clean energy. The Ukrainian government set a target to increase the share of the renewables in the energy mix to 25 percent by 2035 from the current 4 percent.