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
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
At IRENA’s seventh Assembly, held in Abu Dhabi in January 2017, renewable energy projects from the Marshall Islands, Niger, Seychelles and the Solomon Islands were selected to receive a total of USD 44.5 million in funding through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. The Facility is a unique partnership between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), set up to identify and partially finance promising renewable energy projects in developing countries.
At the Assembly, energy ministers from the four selected countries explained how this partnership will bring about a positive change in their respective countries. Continue reading Ministers: ‘IRENA/ADFD Plays Key Role Advancing Renewables in Developing Countries’
“He seeks an entry-level job to get experience, but he cannot get an entry-level job without experience,” the zen master riddles to his disciple in a humorous viral video, but for many young people this conundrum is a perplexing reality. Around the world millions of young people seek meaningful work experience but struggle to find employers willing to take a chance on them.
Though hiring the young and inexperienced presents risks, it also holds great rewards — fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and new skills. IRENA’s exciting new programme for undergraduates in the United Arab Emirates, GROWTH@IRENA (PDF), aims to attract motivated and inspired students looking to gain work experience in an international organisation. Continue reading Opening IRENA’s Doors to Students this Summer
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
While most people will identify electric vehicles as a sustainable form of transport, particularly when paired with renewable electricity generation, biogas also holds great potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.
“In the global pursuit for sustainable transport, biogas represents a great opportunity for countries to address climate change while harnessing local economic benefits in the rural sector and tackling environmental challenges such as waste management,” says Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre, about the release of IRENA’s latest addition to its sustainable transport series, Biogas for Road Vehicles.
IRENA’s newest technology brief highlights the process and technology status of biogas and provides insight to policy makers that want to include it in their plans for sustainable transport. Continue reading Biogas Cost Reductions to Boost Sustainable Transport
Spurred by ambitious national commitments, international agreements and rapid technological progress, governments are increasingly choosing renewable energy to expand their countries’ power infrastructures. In 2014, renewables provided 23% of power generation worldwide, and with the adoption of more ambitious plans and policies, this could reach 45% by 2030.
Amid this accelerating transition, the variability of solar and wind energy — two key sources for renewable power generation — presents new challenges. It also raises questions, like ‘How do you power a country when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining?’ and ‘How does variable power fit with the delivery of reliable electricity?’
Continue reading Planning for Solar and Wind