“The global transition to a sustainable energy system is well underway and renewables are at the centre stage of it,” said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul. “We must accelerate this scale up – and the reality is that the business case for renewables is here today to make it happen,” Mr Amin told the congress.
Organised by the World Energy Council and held every three years, the World Energy Congress is a gathering of more than 10,000 world leaders in the field of energy — representing industries, governments, international organizations, media, universities, and associations.
Realising the future
Highlighting the surging business case for renewable energy, the Director-General touched on recent growth trends in renewable energy underlining that USD 286 billion was invested in renewables last year with the wind power sector attracting a record USD 109.6 billion. Since 2011, he said, more than half of capacity additions to the power sector have been from renewable sources. IRENA has found that scaling up renewables to 36 per cent of the global energy mix by 2030, combined with increased energy efficiency, would save the world up to USD 4.2 trillion.
Citing recent declines in renewable energy costs, Mr Amin revealed that declines are likely to continue with increased deployment, and that IRENA has found that every doubling of cumulative installed capacity reduces prices by 20 per cent. The result is that by 2025, costs for solar PV could drop by a further 59 per cent, offshore wind by 35 per cent, and concentrated solar power by 43 per cent. Low costs are already translating into record low energy bids, with bids for a new 800MW solar PV project in the UAE coming in as low as 2.99 cents/kWh.
The World Energy Congress was also an opportunity for the Director-General to hold bilateral meetings with decisions makers, including Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of European Commission and in charge of the Energy Union, with whom the potential of renewables, particularly in Africa, was discussed; Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, with whom the discussion focused on renewable energy in Turkey’s 2023 strategy; and Alexander Novak, Russia’s Minister of Energy, with whom talks covered REmap and renewable energy’s huge potential in Russia.