Category Archives: Energy Transition

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

Spurring Renewable Energy Deployment in Central Asia

Abu Dhabi workshop gathers Central Asia regional stakeholders to explore strategies for seizing its vast renewable energy potential

Covering an area of over 4 million square kilometers and sitting at the crossroads of East, South, and West Asia, the countries of Central Asia have for millennia been at the centre of the exchange of ideas, people, and technology. And today, the region’s countries are sharing and collaborating to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
Continue reading Spurring Renewable Energy Deployment in Central Asia

Onshore Wind Industry Learning Fast

In recent decades, wind turbines have become a familiar sight in many countries. Onshore wind projects around the world now consistently deliver electricity for USD 0.04 per kilowatt‑hour (kWh), with some projects achieving as low as USD 0.03/kWh. Yet up-to-date cost data and reliable projections of future costs remain limited.

The “learning curve” — a concept borrowed from manufacturing — assesses the rate at which production costs fall as deployment grows due to manufacturing and technology improvements. As an analytical tool, the curve captures past evolution and is a useful tool for assessing potential future cost trends for a given technology. In short, it provides a useful estimate of how future costs will fall as deployment (measured in some kind of physical units) grows. Continue reading Onshore Wind Industry Learning Fast

Enabling Variable Renewables and Driving Down Emissions, with Electric Vehicles

At a media frenzied event last March, electric car manufacturer, Tesla, unveiled its Model 3. Priced to compete with conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles, it attracted over 325,000 reservations within a week.  The hype built around this vehicle, and several other fast and slick electric cars, is but a symptom of a much larger and growing movement across the motor vehicle industry, to cut the transport sector’s oil addiction and switch to electric power.

Globally the stock of electric vehicles is on the rise, and in 2015 more than one million electric vehicles were on the road. That number grew to more than two million in 2016, with China, the US, and several European countries leading the way in uptake. Continue reading Enabling Variable Renewables and Driving Down Emissions, with Electric Vehicles