Renewable energy, for three years running, has accounted for more new power generation capacity installed worldwide than all other sources combined. In 2015, over USD 270 billion were invested in solar PV and wind power, boosting capacity by 47 GW 63 GW respectively. This capacity is expected to only grow and efforts are now focusing on implementing an innovative enabling framework to integrate these technologies at the scale needed. But that is not a simple task and questions still remain: what technologies and tool are part of the power sector transformation? What still needs to be developed? And how can IRENA assist?
Continue reading Transforming the Power Sector, at IRENA Ministerial Meeting
Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the voluntary demand for renewable energy sourced by large corporations to supply their own operations and supply chains. As of today, 40% of the Fortune 500 companies have set clean energy targets, over 50 businesses representing a market cap of USD 15 trillion have signed on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principle and over 83 leading corporations have become part of RE100, a global, collaborative initiative of businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity.
The subject of the corporate sourcing of renewables — as well as its growing interest — took centre stage at COP22 on Sunday, November 13 in Marrakech, Morocco. Throughout the course of a dedicated session organised by IRENA in collaboration with the Clean Energy Ministerial, RE100 and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the potential for corporate sourcing of renewables was further highlighted. Continue reading How Corporates are Taking the Lead in Renewable Energy
Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind power have been the fastest growing forms of power generation in the last five years. Their share is expected to increase from 3 per cent of annual generation production in 2014 to around 20 per cent by 2030. In the utilities industry, where investment times are thought of in decades rather than years, solar PV costs alone have fallen nearly 80 per cent since 2008, a phenomenon that countries can use to their advantage.
Increased use of solar PV and wind power will have profound impacts on how our power systems are operated, managed, financed and governed. There will be a need for more distributed control systems across utilities, regions in countries and between countries themselves. This change will also introduce a new information paradigm, which will demand enhanced data processing capabilities and data sharing; and the reconsideration of privacy laws, communication protocols and data security measures.
It is in this context that IRENA has released a new report to support countries in power sector transformation towards renewable energy. The Age of Renewable Power, released at the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum, identifies 20 measures that can be taken to support the development of a national roadmap on the integration of variable renewables, and provides valuable lessons from countries already on the path towards a power system transformation.
IRENA’s report provides countries with a framework to develop national roadmaps on power sector transformation. The framework focuses on: the process to determine the relevant grid integration measures, assessing the local conditions within the specific country and ensuring that all stakeholders involved are aligned. The report also assesses the role of smart grids for renewable energy integration, electricity storage for islands and grid investment.
The Age of Renewable Power addresses the needs expressed by the Clean Energy Ministerial and the G20, which have asked IRENA to help diffuse best practices and assist in their plans to develop national roadmaps or strategies for the power sector transformation.