Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

In the rural village of Salémata, located in the Kédougou region of southern Senegal, 10-year old Omar and his parents used to spend money on costly kerosene and low quality solar torches for basic lighting needs in their house. The kerosene and torches did not provide light for the whole evening, making studying at night a challenge for Omar. Omar’s parents then purchased a pay-as-you-go solar system in hopes that it could solve their lighting and energy problems. Since then, Omar is able to complete his homework every night and has improved his performance at school. And when his homework is done, now he can even watch some football games on TV.

The pay-as-you-go system Omar’s family purchased is made by Touba Solar Rama, a company that is supported by an Entrepreneurship Support Facility established by IRENA and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Based at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Burkina Faso, the facility provides advisory assistance to small and medium-sized renewable energy entrepreneurs in West Africa. Continue reading Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Thirty kilometres from the bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi, lies a remarkable undertaking that could one day change the environmental impact of air travel.

Set on a two-hectare farm down the road from the IRENA Headquarters building, a pilot project conducted by Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) is bringing private sector firms together to answer ‘is it possible to create a sustainable jet-powering biofuel?’ Continue reading Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Coalition for Advancing Low Carbon Fuels Launches at COP22

A massive scale-up in renewable energy deployment is vital to fully decarbonize the global energy system by 2050, which is required to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees celsius. At the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, a 20-country coalition launched a new initiative to help decarbonize the transport and industry sectors through modern, sustainable low-carbon biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels.

The Biofuture Platform aims to contribute to the global fight against climate change, nurturing solutions that can help countries reach their Nationally Determined Contribution, as well as to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The 20-country coalition comprises of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Morocco, Mozambique, Paraguay, Philippines, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay. Continue reading Coalition for Advancing Low Carbon Fuels Launches at COP22

Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy

As early supporters of renewable energy technologies Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have played a pivotal role in demonstrating the role of renewables in achieving the Sustainable Development and Climate agendas. They know that overcoming reliance on fossil fuels will increase both their resiliency and economic viability.

To assist SIDS in achieving their renewable energy goals, the Republic of the Maldives as the current chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), has just announced the creation of an Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE). The announcement came during the high-level session for the Global Climate Action Agenda at COP22. Its purpose will be to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to implement the Paris Agreement. IRIE is setting an initial goal of mobilising at least $1 million in grant and concessionary financing by 2020 for concrete implementation on the ground. Continue reading Scaling up Renewable Energy on Small Island Developing States: The Initiative for Renewable Island Energy

IRENA Convenes Ministers at COP22 to Address Renewables for Africa

Ministers and senior officials from government, international organizations, development institutions and civil society gathered at COP22 in Marrakech on Monday to discuss the pathways to meet African climate objectives with renewable energy.

Building on concrete experiences, the high-level event, organized by IRENA and Environnement et Developpement du Tiers-Monde, gathered government representatives, climate finance institutes, development partners and civil society to discuss how African countries can reap the potential of renewable energy through NDC implementation while advancing their national development priorities. The side-event highlighted the key features of tools and climate finance resource to support NDC implementation. Continue reading IRENA Convenes Ministers at COP22 to Address Renewables for Africa

Latin America’s Renewable Energy Market Analysis

Covering the surface area of China and the USA combined and home to around 600 million people, Latin America is rich in resources. While its minerals, metals, and fossil fuels have traditionally drawn investment, energy security concerns, technological advances and the growing threat of climate change have now brought the region’s enormous renewable energy potential to the forefront.

A new IRENA report, Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America, highlights Latin America’s success with renewables, the region’s emerging trends and valuable insights for other countries. Continue reading Latin America’s Renewable Energy Market Analysis

How Corporates are Taking the Lead in Renewable Energy

Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the voluntary demand for renewable energy sourced by large corporations to supply their own operations and supply chains. As of today, 40% of the Fortune 500 companies have set clean energy targets, over 50 businesses representing a market cap of USD 15 trillion have signed on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principle and over 83 leading corporations have become part of RE100, a global, collaborative initiative of businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity.

The subject of the corporate sourcing of renewables — as well as its growing interest — took centre stage at COP22 on Sunday, November 13 in Marrakech, Morocco. Throughout the course of a dedicated session organised by IRENA in collaboration with the Clean Energy Ministerial, RE100 and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the potential for corporate sourcing of renewables was further highlighted. Continue reading How Corporates are Taking the Lead in Renewable Energy

Covering the latest news from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and developments in renewables.