Category Archives: Energy Transition

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

Renewables at the Heart of G20 Hamburg Energy Action Plan

Leaders of the world’s biggest economies envision renewables’ key role in economic growth

The world’s commitment to a renewable energy powered future strengthened this month as leaders of the G20 — a bloc of the 20 world’s most powerful economies — revealed a Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth, placing sustainable renewables at the centre of efforts to rejuvenate the global economy and address climate change. Continue reading Renewables at the Heart of G20 Hamburg Energy Action Plan

IRENA’s 13th Council Convenes

Agency’s governing body discusses the next steps towards a sustainable future

“We are in the midst of a major energy transition and renewables are at the centre stage of it, experiencing continuous growth and development in more and more countries around the world,” announced IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at the opening of the 13th IRENA Council.

Convening from 23 to 24 May, with a preparatory day on 22 May and a Policy Day on 25 May, the 13th Council attracted the registration of over 300 delegates representing 110 countries — the highest participation ever at an IRENA Council. Continue reading IRENA’s 13th Council Convenes

An Ancient Route Renewed

China’s Belt and Road Initiative revives history for modern trade, development and renewable energy across Asia

Stretching thousands of kilometres, across mountains and deserts, the Silk Road holds a special place in history. Traversed by Marco Polo and named after one of its most precious goods, the trade route facilitated an exchange of ideas, technology, and animals between East and West, Asia, Europe and Africa. Though its relevance waned with the opening of sea routes between Asia and Europe, the rebirth of China’s economic power and ambitions over the last decade has rejuvenated the once dormant route.

No longer a winding caravan trail, China’s new Belt and Road Initiative aims to interconnect and bring development, stability, and resource security across 60 countries. At the centre of powering this economic ambition is renewable energy. Continue reading An Ancient Route Renewed