Renewable Energy Innovation Can Translate Targets to Action

02 May 2016| Articles

In the wake of the Paris Agreement – signed last month by a record-breaking 175 countries – focus has shifted from ambitious targets to the action needed to achieve them.

Accounting for two-thirds of all global emissions, the transformation of the global energy sector is front and centre in these discussions.

Falling technology costs, mounting investments and record-high renewable energy capacity additions are all signals that the global transition towards a renewable power sector is underway. But to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees or less, more action is needed.

Next week, IRENA will host its first-ever Innovation Week, gathering industrial and political front runners to present, discuss and explore innovative solutions within this year’s theme – The Age of Renewable Power. Discussions will focus on how technological innovations, operational innovation and systemic innovations in policy, regulation and business, interact and reinforce each other.

Event features:

Plenary sessions with thought leaders: Front runners from industry, academia, think tanks and policy-making circles will share their visions of the future power sector during three daily plenary sessions. Topics:

  • The age of renewable power
  • Systemic innovation
  • Technological innovation
  • Operational innovation

In-focus group discussions: Based on the input from the plenary sessions, policy makers and technical experts will meet in groups to discuss the relevance and prioritise innovations for their specific constituency. Topics:

  • Decentralised electricity systems for islands and rural electrification
  • Mature electricity systems with low demand growth
  • Emerging electricity systems with high demand growth

Deep dive sessions: IRENA has teamed up with innovative institutions to provide deep dive sessions on specific topics:

  • The future grid: smart micro and minigrids
  • The future grid: electric highways
  • Energy storage and electric vehicles
  • Energy systems modelling and planning
  • New market designs
  • From science to innovation
  • Advancing frontiers of reliability and quality

Event outcomes:

The event will provide a global platform for thought leaders, technical experts and policy makers to share their vision, discuss the transformational role of renewable energy in the future power system, and build momentum to translate ambitious renewable power targets to action on the ground.

Event attendees will work together to answer four key questions:

  1. What specific opportunities and challenges are considered within your country?
  2. What are the relevant innovations for our constituency?
  3. What are the priority areas for policy development to support and guide innovation efforts?
  4. Which gaps in international cooperation should be bridged and how?

Responses will be fed into a ‘Global Innovation Agenda’ document for distribution at the close of the event. They will also feed into an Innovation Landscape Report to be released later this year by IRENA, and into the Mission Innovation and Breakthrough Coalition initiatives.

More information

Watch the event live stream

Follow event discussions online via #IRENAinnovation

Attendance is by invitation only. If you are interested in participating, email