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.
China is the world leader in installed renewable energy capacity, having in 2016 added almost half of all new solar capacity worldwide, and also the largest provider of renewable energy jobs, with the latest figures showing 3.64 million people are working in the Chinese renewables sector. The country’s knowledge in grid integration can be useful for other countries undertaking ambitious plans to scale-up the share of renewables in the power mix, particularly in Africa, Central America and South East Asia.
Under the agreement, technical experts from SGCC will be seconded to IRENA for one year. The experts will work closely with IRENA’s programmatic teams, particularly on IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor initiatives in Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia, and capacity building activities related to integrating renewables into electricity systems.
The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the organisationsin June to increase the integration of high shares of wind and solar, grid integration, interconnection and smart grids. The MOU also strengthens cooperation related to IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor initiatives.