Workshop on Innovative Solutions for Achieving 100% Renewable Power Systems by Mid-century

17 July 2019 |Montevideo, Uruguay


To benefit from the unique gathering of regional and international experts discussing disruptive innovations in the power sector, IRENA and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay organised with the support of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Sweden and the Swedish Energy Agency on the 17 July 2019, as Day 2 of the IRENA Innovation Day event, a workshop for government representatives on “Innovative solutions for 100% renewable power systems by mid-century”.

This workshop was part of the experience-sharing programme on innovative solutions for very high shares of renewable power by mid-century that is taking place throughout 2019, supported by the government of Sweden and in collaboration with the government of Uruguay.

With a particular focus on the countries that have pledged very high (above 70-80%, and in some cases 100%) renewable power targets by mid-century and frontrunners that have already experience with operating power systems with very high shares of renewable power, this workshop explored in more detail the challenges and opportunities faced by participating countries, as well as the most disruptive innovations which enable the rapid uptake of a high share of renewables in the power system.


Answering to the common challenge of how to best transform the national power systems with innovative solutions to ensure the cost-effective integration of high shares of renewable power, including variable renewable energy sources, the objective of this workshop was to connect country representatives for the international exchange of perspectives, plans and good practices on the use of technology-driven innovative solutions that can assist in achieving very high shares of renewable power.

Target audience

This workshop targeted officials, as well as experts who have a role in advising officials from countries that have similar policy ambitions in terms of decarbonizing the power system in the next two or three decades. Participating countries shared certain similarities in the power system (e.g. hydro-power generation capacity) and face comparable challenges in reaching their renewable power objectives. The workshop was also open to countries having less specific targets but want to explore a high ambition for renewable power. Experts from the industry, as well as innovators, including new actors with innovative business models, as well as representative from academia were invited to join the discussions.


The discussions provided an opportunity to evaluate barriers and missing elements required to scale-up the deployment of technologies, while also looking at the strengths of these countries to fully harness opportunities arising from the renewable energy transformation, including the role of hydropower as a flexibility provider. Gathering such relevant information is valuable for IRENA when designing tools and activities to help deliver countries’ renewable energy objectives. Insights gained will also greatly assist countries in driving their energy-system transformations towards very-high or 100% renewable power systems in the coming decades.

View the workshop agenda and minutes.


Time Session
08:30 09:00 Registration open
09:00 09:30 Welcome address
  • Vanessa Interiano, Senior Adviser, Country Support and Partnerships (CSP), IRENA
  • Mr Alfonso Blanco, Executive Secretary, Organización Latinoamericana de Energía (OLADE)
  • Ms Hanna Ek-Fälth, Renewable Energy Analyst, Swedish Energy Agency, Sweden
  • Mrs Olga Otegui, Interim Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining
09:30 10:30 Session I: Challenges and opportunities in the implementation of ambitious policy targets to achieve power systems with high shares of renewable power by mid-century
10:30 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 12:30 Session II: Technical feasibility of a 100% renewable power system by 2050
12:30 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 15:30 Session III: Showcase of experiences from leading countries operating power system with very high shares of renewables
15:30 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 17:00 Session IV: Innovative solutions for 100% renewable power systems
17:00 17:20 Summary of discussion
  • Dr Paul Durrant, Innovation Strategy & Networking lead, IRENA
17:20 17:30 Closing remarks
  • Mr Ruben Garcia, National Director of Energy, MIEM, Uruguay





More pictures are available on Flickr.