IRENA and State Grid Corporation of China Team-Up to Expand Regional Renewable Capacities

Technical experts from SGCC to support IRENA’s activities in Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia

A new agreement signed today between IRENA and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany will see technical expertise from the world’s largest utility support the Agency work on integrating more renewables into grid systems.

Efforts undertaken by the state-owned enterprise over the past decade have sought to improve its ability to accommodate higher shares of variable renewable energy sources, and this partnership will enable IRENA to leverage the established knowledge of the SGCC for the benefit of developing countries. Continue reading IRENA and State Grid Corporation of China Team-Up to Expand Regional Renewable Capacities

IRENA Coalition for Action Launches #Renewables4Climate Campaign

New campaign highlights renewable energy as key climate solution

Recent findings from the World Meteorological Organization show that last year’s concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere increased at an unprecedented pace. While this rapid increase in concentrations can be attributed to a culmination of factors, energy-related emissions continue to represent up to two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the sector’s emissions is critical to meeting climate goals, and achievable with renewables.

Starting this week, the global community will gather for two weeks in Bonn, Germany for the twenty-third UN Climate Conference, COP23, with the hope to accelerate international climate action by assessing the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  To coincide with these discussions, IRENA and its Coalition for Action partners have initiated a new #Renewables4Climate global campaign to raise awareness about renewable energy as a key solution to climate change. Continue reading IRENA Coalition for Action Launches #Renewables4Climate Campaign


IRENA to convene a global conversation at COP23 on the centrality of renewables in efforts to combat climate change

The adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement represented an unprecedented global deal to take deliberate and concerted action to combat climate change and keep the global temperature rise below two or even one-and-a-half degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

To meet even the less stringent of the two Paris goals, the global energy system needs to be fully decarbonized by 2060, despite an expected tripling of global GDP during the same period.   This requires a more than seven-fold increase in the deployment of renewables compared to the growth that we have seen over the past decade, with renewables comprising two-thirds of global energy supply by 2050. Continue reading IRENA at COP23

Solar Supports Village Livelihoods and Spurs Business in Fiji

Reliable solar-powered refrigerators are creating economic opportunities for remote, rural towns

In Wainika, a remote village north of Vanua Lavu, Fiji’s second largest island, villagers depend on fishing for their livelihoods. However, the nearest market to trade fish is a laborious two-hour drive and a 45-minute boat ride away. Keeping their fish fresh, without refrigeration, during this journey used to be impossible for Wainika’s villagers, until a renewable-powered solution presented itself.

The installation of a standalone hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) refrigeration system has drastically changed the economic prospects of the village. Installed at the village community hall, the system enables villagers to chill their fish in preparation for the journey to the market, and helps power lighting and phone charging outlets.  A backup diesel generator ensures the operation of the freezers during long cloudy periods. Continue reading Solar Supports Village Livelihoods and Spurs Business in Fiji

Mini-Grid Project Guide Developed for Small Islands

New addition to IRENA’s Project Navigator has the best practices for developing mini-grid projects in Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can transform their power sectors towards renewable energy, addressing the challenges of affordable energy and climate change. In this context, renewable mini-grid solutions, composed of electricity generators and storage systems interconnected to a distribution network which supplies electricity to a localised group of customers, are now cost-effective and viable strategies to expand electricity access in SIDS.

Now, IRENA’s online platform, Project Navigator, provides the tools and guidance to assist in developing renewable mini-grid projects, and introduces the best practices to assist project developers in preparing, developing, and operating bankable projects, particularly in the context of SIDS. Continue reading Mini-Grid Project Guide Developed for Small Islands

Geothermal, a Hot Topic in El Salvador

Central American countries seek to bring geothermal to the forefront of future energy development plans

1,500 kilometres long, Central America’s volcanic arc consists of hundreds of volcanoes — from sky scrapping stratovolcanoes like Guatemala’s 4,202 metre Volcán Tajumulco, to crater lakes like El Salvador’s Ilopango — the very ground of this ocean-separating, continent-connecting, ribbon of land, moves.

The region’s unique geothermal activity is the result of what geologists call subduction: one tectonic plate, the Cocos Plate, moving under others, the Caribbean and North American plates, forcing earth, magma, and heat to the surface. While this does result in life-threatening earthquakes and volcanoes, the geothermal heat released provides a largely untapped energy that the region’s countries are now resolved to harness. Continue reading Geothermal, a Hot Topic in El Salvador

Renewables and Energy Efficiency: a Dynamic Duo

Maximising the synergy between the two crucial objectives can drastically reduce energy-related carbon emissions.

At present, our atmosphere has 407 parts per million carbon dioxide (CO2). According to NASA, we’d have to go back to 650,000 years to experience CO2 concentrations this high. The impacts of the high concentration of this climate-changing greenhouse gas in our atmosphere are being felt globally.

“Rethinking our energy sector is the key to addressing carbon emissions,” says Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre. “Almost every country in the world has made a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions through the Paris Agreement, but exactly how varies.” Continue reading Renewables and Energy Efficiency: a Dynamic Duo

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