Tag Archives: Bonn

SIDS Energy Day: Small, Strong and Resilient

The role of renewable energy as an enabler of island resilience and prosperity takes centre-stage at IRENA’s Small Island Developing States Energy Day

Small and strong was the theme for IRENA’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Energy Day, held during COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The day-long series of events held at the IRENA pavilion, followed by a high-level evening reception at the Kunst Museum were designed to mark progress, galvanise collective resolve and inspire further action on climate resilience and adaptation through renewable energy adoption across small islands.

Here is what happened:

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and senior government and private sector representatives came together for SIDS Energy Day to remind the world that the climate threat is no longer on the horizon – for the people and communities who reside on small islands, the threat is becoming a reality.

“SIDS are on the front-lines of climate change, facing the most impact from its effects while doing the least to cause it,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director General of IRENA in opening remarks. “The recent destructive hurricanes in the Caribbean are a reminder of this, and I want to extend my deepest sympathy to our friends there who are dealing with the aftermath of the storms.”

These opening remarks set the scene for a day that sought to hasten actionable solutions for nations already suffering at the hands of severe weather patterns.

One such important solution is the development of mini-grid and off-grid renewable energy installations, which can offer small islands a sustainable pathway to economic empowerment, as well as to climate adaptation and resilience. “In the energy sector, SIDS are hindered by a high dependence on imported fossil fuels, and the associated high costs in transitioning to sustainable energy and low carbon development,” continued Mr. Amin.

DG SIDS

IRENA’s Lighthouses Initiative aims to support the energy transition in SIDS by mobilizing US 500 million, to advance their renewable energy ambitions. It’s working. Today, islands are emerging as front runners in the pursuit of renewables based energy systems with more than two gigawatts (GW) of renewables is currently deployed on islands and a further six GW envisaged under nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Furthermore, several islands plan to go 100 per cent renewables. The Cook Islands, Cape Verde, Fiji, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu and Samoa were all noted as aiming to increase their share of renewable energy in the power mix to between 60 – 100 per cent.

island pic with solar panel

Renewables make smart business sense for small islands said new Environment Minister for the Marshall Islands the Honorable David Paul during a SIDS Energy Day panel discussion – highlighting that energy security is strengthened through renewable energy adoption, because it liberates them from fuel imports and protects them from the impact of conflict.

During the day, panels on transforming the energy landscape in SIDS, strengthening resilience to climate change and facilitating implementation of NDCs, and supporting SIDS energy sector transformation, took place at the IRENA stand, with attendance from leaders such as H.E. Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands and H.E. Tommy Remengesau Junior, President of Palau.

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But it was the message of small but strong – delivered by Minister of Sustainable Develop in St Lucia, Dr Gale Rigobert – that captured the moment and inspired participants.

What islands are experiencing today, is coming to all of us concluded Adnan Amin. At SIDS Energy Day during COP23, this message was loud and clear.

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COP23 Renewable Energy Day: Action on Climate and Accelerating Energy System Transformation

Governments of Fiji, Germany and United Arab Emirates together with IRENA and Deutsche Post DHL Group, host ‘COP23 Renewable Energy Day’ to accelerate energy transition

A year on from the Paris Agreement coming into force, COP23 under Fiji’s Presidency and hosted by Germany, is firmly positioned as the COP for implementation and action on climate. With that in mind, more than 300 delegates attended COP23 Renewable Energy Day, organised by IRENA together with the Governments of Fiji, Germany and the UAE and Deutsche Post DHL Group, to accelerate the energy transition.

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Here’s a short breakdown of what happened during the day:

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA welcomed delegates with this opening statement. “Renewable energy is good for climate and good for growth, which is the key message that we are bringing to this climate change conference,” setting the stage for address that made a case for strengthening renewable energy ambition in the pursuit of climate and economic goals. “If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to decarbonise the energy sector,” he said. “We believe that energy transition is not only technically feasible but also economically attractive as it will fuel economic growth and create new employment opportunities.”

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The Energy Transition

Investments will flee decline and flood to growth

The energy transition will be fast, dramatic and soon, said Trusted Sources energy strategist, Kingsmill Bond, to Renewable Energy Day attendees, explaining the inflection point for renewable energy and peak fossil fuels is just around the corner – which will result in private capital fleeing areas of decline and flooding to areas of growth, such as renewables.

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Amani Abou Zeid, the African Union’s Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure; Rainer Baake, Germany’s State Secretary for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; and Sebastian Kind, Argentina’s Undersecretary for Renewables, in the Ministry of Energy and Mining then discussed perspectives on the transition.

Rainer Baake, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany – co-hosts of the event said renewables are central to economic growth and are key to the Paris Agreement.

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“Renewable energy is a key element for a profound and accelerated global energy transition that will not only fundamentally modernize our economies, create growth and innovation, but it will also help to successfully implement the Paris Agreement.”

Co-host the UAE, offer further support to the economic case for renewable energy

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE said: “The rapid deployment of renewable energy has been the dominant force in the global efforts to address climate change, and the UAE is proud to be playing its part. The UAE firmly believes that renewables makes economic sense, which has been proven by the creation of jobs and industries. We will continue to scale-up renewable energy deployment through the region’s first national Climate Change Plan 2050 to meet our ambitious NDC targets.”

The United States remains committed to the Paris Agreement

Achieving the goals set within the Paris Agreement remains a key priority for the US too, said California State Governor Jerry Brown, who emphasised that climate action is taking place right across America.

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“Climate change is real, and it presents a threat to global security and prosperity that is beyond comprehension. At a state level, at a city level and at a business level right across the United States of America there is recognition of that threat, there is collective intention to fight it, and there is tangible progress in the pursuit of a sustainable future,” said Governor Brown.

“This conference has offered us (the US) a tremendous opportunity to communicate the fact that the US remains committed to the Paris Agreement and we look forward to building the alliances and partnerships necessary, across governments and industry, to accelerate sustainable solutions and help us avoid the worst effects of climate change.”

Under Governor Brown’s leadership the state is in the process of adopting one of the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the world: a new energy law will require California to produce 50% renewable energy by 2026, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

Renewable Energy Day hosts Deutsche Post DHL Group, is a major German company with bold low-carbon targets of its own. Their CEO Frank Appel, shared how corporations have a responsibility to help reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy..

Dr. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL Group said:

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“Our commitment to be zero emission by 2050 requires a fundamental rethinking of our business activities. For Deutsche Post DHL Group, re-evaluating our business decisions through the prism of sustainability has resulted in us questioning our established way of doing things. More than ever before, we are harnessing the energies of our employees in creating a company-wide spirit of innovation and sustainability to provide solutions not only to benefit our customers but also to be a benchmark in our industry.”

Explorer and pilot of Solar Impulse — the world’s first solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe — Bertrand Piccard, spoke about the need to push the energy transition beyond existing boundaries. And Alexy Tarasov, Head of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics at Moscow State University, described the future solar technology that will help transform the energy sector.

China – the world’s largest renewable energy market – is at the forefront of the global energy transition. The Chinese energy industry is also making enormous strides in addressing the country’s environmental challenges. A special address by Shu Yinbiao, Chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, and a presentation by Zhang Lei, CEO, Envision Energy, shared their insights on the ongoing paradigm shift in China.

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It was a day of optimism for the future of our climate, and bullishness on the trajectory for growth in renewable energy and as the programme wound to an end, Monika Jones, Deutsche Welle presenter and the event’s moderator, reminded us that…

A stream of the afternoon sessions can be re-watched on IRENA’s Facebook page, or on this page below.

IRENA Coalition for Action Launches #Renewables4Climate Campaign

New campaign highlights renewable energy as key climate solution

Recent findings from the World Meteorological Organization show that last year’s concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere increased at an unprecedented pace. While this rapid increase in concentrations can be attributed to a culmination of factors, energy-related emissions continue to represent up to two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the sector’s emissions is critical to meeting climate goals, and achievable with renewables.

Starting this week, the global community will gather for two weeks in Bonn, Germany for the twenty-third UN Climate Conference, COP23, with the hope to accelerate international climate action by assessing the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  To coincide with these discussions, IRENA and its Coalition for Action partners have initiated a new #Renewables4Climate global campaign to raise awareness about renewable energy as a key solution to climate change. Continue reading IRENA Coalition for Action Launches #Renewables4Climate Campaign

IRENA at COP23

IRENA to convene a global conversation at COP23 on the centrality of renewables in efforts to combat climate change

The adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement represented an unprecedented global deal to take deliberate and concerted action to combat climate change and keep the global temperature rise below two or even one-and-a-half degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

To meet even the less stringent of the two Paris goals, the global energy system needs to be fully decarbonized by 2060, despite an expected tripling of global GDP during the same period.   This requires a more than seven-fold increase in the deployment of renewables compared to the growth that we have seen over the past decade, with renewables comprising two-thirds of global energy supply by 2050. Continue reading IRENA at COP23

A Renewable Future Lecture Series in Bonn

New lecture series highlights the political, technological, financial, socio-economic, commercial, and regional opportunities and challenges for a future powered by renewables.

Starting this autumn and continuing into 2018, IRENA and the “Sustainable Development in International Cooperation” coordination unit of the University of Bonn have organised a lecture series that will analyse and discuss the political, technological, financial, socioeconomic, commercial and regional opportunities and challenges of a renewable energy powered future. Continue reading A Renewable Future Lecture Series in Bonn