During its 10th assembly, IRENA launched a report highlighting the progress the world has made in the renewables space till 2019. However, it suggests scaling it up dramatically over the next 10 years which it says is the decade of action to meet the Paris targets. (Source: IRENA)
- A new booklet from IRENA chronicling progress made in the world with renewables bats for the clean energy technologies to get larger share of investments
- It suggests redirecting funds from planned fossil fuel investment towards renewables that need close to $750 billion annually, increasing from $330 billion now
- Additional investments in renewables can lead to significant cost savings of around $1.6 trillion to $3.7 trillion by 2030, it argues
- By the end of 2030, global renewable energy supply should comprise 57% of all power supply, going up from 26% currently
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Renewables need to grow at least four times faster than the rate they follow now towards 2030 to achieve a global energy transformation that can help meet United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). For this to happen, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says the world needs to increase its annual renewable energy investments to close to $750 billion (precisely $737 billion) from the current $330 billion.
Much of the needed investment can come from redirecting planned fossil fuel investment, it suggests in the report or rather a booklet titled 10 Years: Progress to Action released by IRENA during its 10th Assembly in Abu Dhabi. It reveals that close to $10 trillion of non-renewables related energy investments are planned to 2030. If this investment continues to go towards the purpose it is meant for, IRENA warns it will lead to risks of stranded assets and increasing likelihood of exceeding the world’s 1.5°carbon budget this decade.
Increased investment in renewables would result into significant cost savings amounting between $1.6 trillion and $3.7 trillion annually by 2030, as well as minimising significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction, the report outlines.
IRENA’s report terms the last decade (2009 to 2018) as the decade of progress when 62% of all new power generation capacity comprised renewables with 2,360 GW installed, compared to 39% or 1,140 GW coming from other sources. This decade (2019 to 2030) is the decade of action where the world should be aiming for up to 57% of global renewable energy supply by the end of 2030, growing from todays level of 26%. In the decade of action, renewables should reach 30% of electricity in total energy consumption, increasing from 20% at the end of 2019.
Solar and wind alone could cover over 1/3rd of global power needs with 2,840 GW and 2,015 GW installed by 2030, driven by their lower costs that continue to fall and could be between $34 to $40 per MWh and $30 to $40 per MWh, respectively. Off-grid renewables is another opportunity that could bring energy access to more people than the current $150 million it caters to. IRENA’s assessment claims 60% of new electricity access can be met by renewables in the next decade with stand-alone and mini-grid systems providing the means for almost half of new access.
At the same time, battery storage installed capacity is envisioned to be up to 180 GWh of installed capacity by 2030, 1,000 GW of solar PV rooftop systems, and potentially 400 GW of floating solar. Hydrogen too can cover 8% of global energy consumption by 2050.
Growth of renewables on these lines will also lead to creation of jobs for 30 million people cumulatively.
The IRENA report can be downloaded for free on its website.