Access to electricity in remote and rural areas is necessary to combat poverty and meet the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Roughly 15% of the world’s population lives without electricity and many more with unreliable access. Off-grid renewable energy solutions are a cost-effective, environmentally-sustainable and scalable option to expand access to electricity to reach unconnected areas.
The business case to deploy off-grid renewable energy solutions (stand-alone and mini-grid systems) in rural areas has never been stronger. The big question is – How can we scale-up off-grid renewable energy deployment? Continue reading IRENA to Host 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi
Energy ministers of the G20 and representatives of key intergovernmental organisations, including IRENA, recently met to discuss the G20 energy agenda including the progress that has been made since last October’s adoption of the IRENA-led G20 Toolkit of Voluntary Options for Renewable Energy Deployment — aimed at accelerating the adoption of renewable energy globally.
“Renewable energy offers a technical solution to energy access that meets multiple development goals and does it sustainably and in a climate-friendly way,” said Sakari Oksanen, IRENA Deputy Director-General, speaking at the G20 event in Beijing, China.
Continue reading G20, IRENA take on renewable energy at energy ministers meeting
In 2015, $286 billion was invested in renewable energy. That is an enormous sum of money by many measurements, but is it enough, and are we on track to meet the energy demands of the future with renewables?
“Unfortunately it’s not even close to enough,” said Joanne Jungmin Lee of IRENA’s Knowledge, Policy, and Finance Centre. “More money must be invested in renewables to meet the world’s growing energy demand and to realise their socioeconomic and environmental benefits.”
IRENA estimates that deploying renewables on the scale necessary to limit global temperature rise below 2 degrees would require current investment to double by 2020, and triple by 2030 to around US$ 900 billion annually. Continue reading Financing the Future
We all know that solar power offers myriad health and environmental benefits over traditional energy sources — including reduced emissions and improved air quality — but the social benefits it offers are perhaps less well known. A new paper from IRENA, launched today at InterSolar Europe in Munich, highlights the way solar technology is being used to power food production and empower communities to escape poverty.
Solar Pumping for Irrigation: Improving livelihoods and sustainability, details how solar technology is being used to improve farming efficiency and agricultural output, highlighting successful examples from across Africa and Asia. Continue reading Solar power boosts food production & fights poverty
Less than 2% of today’s global electricity is generated by solar photovoltaics (PV), but this is set to change. According to an IRENA report released today at InterSolar Europe, this figure could grow to 13% by 2030. Letting in the Light: How Solar Photovoltaics Will Revolutionize the Electricity System finds the solar industry is poised for massive expansion, driven primarily by cost reductions. It estimates that solar PV capacity could reach between 1,760 and 2,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from 227 GW today. Continue reading Solar Energy Could Power 13% of the World by 2030
Today at InterSolar Europe in Munich, leaders in energy, finance and law met to scale up solar energy under a new initiative. The Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative, led by IRENA and the Terrawatt Initiative, aims to spur global solar development by standardising contracts to streamline the development and finance of solar projects.
Country commitments submitted under the Paris Agreement entail roughly $1.2 trillion in solar energy investment by 2030. To reach this target, governments must implement efficient regulatory schemes that enable massive development of solar projects – with minimal risk – and allow private investors to enter the market at scale. There is also a need to reduce transaction costs so solar power can penetrate more markets across the globe. Continue reading New Initiative to Boost Solar Energy Development
The solar industry is booming. There was 227 gigawatts of installed solar PV capacity in 2015 and this figure is expected to reach 4,500 by 2050 – a more than 1,800% increase.
This staggering deployment means good things for the world’s climate, economy and society, but it will also result in a huge amount of electronic waste as solar panels reach the end of their roughly 30-year life span.
But with this waste, comes new opportunity. Continue reading Solar PV Waste Offers Significant Business Opportunity