Energy leaders from developing and emerging countries have resolved to step up regional initiatives promoting renewable power generation during a pre-IRENA Assembly event entitled, “New Energy Future: Towards Renewable-based Energy Systems in Developing and Emerging Economies.”
In Africa, Central America and other regions, Clean Energy Corridor initiatives aim to spur sustainable economic growth as well as help countries meet increasingly ambitious climate commitments.
Following December’s landmark Paris Agreement, countries worldwide have agreed on the need for co-ordinated action to keep the rise of global average temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius. This means moving fast to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from power generation and other energy use.
“Deep decarbonisation of the global economy has to happen first in the field of energy.”- Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.
Energy demand will continue to grow, particularly in developing and emerging economies. Corridor initiatives, fostered by IRENA in cooperation with national governments and regional partners, can help improve policy coordination and accelerate market integration – key factors to attract massive, cost-effective investments in renewables.
“De-risking investments has become an important issue.” – Elijah Sichone, Executive Secretary of the Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA).
He underlined RERA’s support for the Africa Clean Energy Corridor, which spans the continent’s eastern and southern regions and could soon also encompass the West African power market.
Panelists reiterated the fact that developing markets can make rapid gains by emulating successful transition strategies already carried out elsewhere during the meeting.
“The transition to renewable energy from fossils and nuclear is no longer only for the privileged few with the technology, such as Germany or the United States. This transformation has to be sustainable, it has to be economically viable, and it can only happen at the pace that we need through international co-operation.” – Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General
There have been many recent commitments from countries toward renewable energy development. Morocco has committed to taking 52 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030, the highest such target in Africa to date. Renewable energy investment levels last year increased by 114 per cent in Mexico, 157 per cent in Chile and 329 per cent in South Africa. An international forum in Suzhou, China, recently called for the establishment of a Global Coalition for Energy Transition.
Read more about IRENA’s Africa Energy Corridor