Tag Archives: Quote

IRENA Welcomes Paris Climate Agreement as ‘watershed for the global energy transition’

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin issued the following statement after the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the COP21 Climate Conference:

“Yesterday the global community was united in voicing commitment for decisive, inclusive and coordinated action on climate change. The Paris Agreement provides a framework for international cooperation and sends a clear signal to all stakeholders to raise their ambition. Continue reading IRENA Welcomes Paris Climate Agreement as ‘watershed for the global energy transition’

Solar Impulse Lands in Hawaii, Breaks World Record for Longest Flight

At 5:55 in the morning, the Solar Impulse 2 safely landed in Kalaeloa, Hawaii, and, along the way in the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean, shattered the world record for the longest non-stop solo flight in any kind of plane. It is a historic first for solar energy, further proving the potential of renewable energy to power a clean, sustainable future. IRENA is proud to be a partner of Solar Impulse and its mission to demonstrate the possibilities of renewable energy.

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft, piloted alternately by Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, set off on its 22,000-mile journey around the world from Abu Dhabi on 9 March. It will end its epic journey back in Abu Dhabi sometime in late 2015, weather permitting.

“No solar plane has ever flown for this long and we’re pushing the plane and pilot to their limits: fatigue, aircraft systems and energy management.”- Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse Pilot

At 76h 45min into the flight from Japan to Hawaii, the Solar Impulse broke Steve Fossett’s 2006 record for the longest solo flight in a plane, but there were other barriers to clear. Throughout the flight, the pilots had to cope with weather fronts, which forced them to maintain holding patterns and stay awake overnight.

After nearly five days of flying, the plane safely touched down during sunrise in Hawaii.

Watch the landing video:

“I feel exhilarated by this extraordinary journey. I have climbed the equivalent altitude of Mount Everest five times without much rest…This success fully validates the vision that my partner Bertrand Piccard had…to reach unlimited endurance in an airplane without fuel.” – Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse Pilot

On IRENA’s partnership with Solar Impulse:

“By collaborating with Solar Impulse, IRENA reaffirms the importance of innovation and technology in achieving a cleaner, more secure, less volatile, global energy system. The project is truly emblematic of the type of pioneering spirit and innovation we are currently witnessing in the field of renewable energy. Its success is a testament to the fact that governments and the private sector are realizing just how much can be achieved through renewable energy deployment.” IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin

Overall, the Solar Impulse’s trip around the globe is expected to take 25 flight days and is broken into 12 legs at speeds between 30 and 60 miles per hour. Its next destinations are from Hawaii to Phoenix and then New York, Europe and back to Abu Dhabi. The aircraft’s wingspan is longer than that of a jumbo jet, but it weighs only 2.3 tonnes — about the same as a car.

Piccard’s vision of an airplane flying day and night with no fuel has now become reality. If the world utilized the clean technologies similar to those used in Solar Impulse 2 today, energy consumption and CO2 emissions would be halved. Furthermore, these technologies are cost-competitive, support overall economic growth and create jobs.

Follow the Solar Impulse as it continues its journey with live updates.


The Solar Impulse team

IRENA and Germany Chart Future Renewable Energy Collaboration

German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin met today to discuss how best to collaborate to promote the global uptake of renewable energy. Germany played a pivotal role in the foundation of IRENA and currently hosts IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Center (IITC) in Bonn, which provides information on renewable energy technologies and innovations worldwide.

“The most important argument in favor of renewable energy is that it has produced more than 300,000 new jobs in Germany.” Germany Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel

The business case for renewable energy is getting stronger as renewables are now cost competitive with fossil fuels in many cases worldwide, even without financial support and despite falling oil prices.

“Wind generation in Germany today is cheaper than any conventional generation. This is the case in one market after another. What we need now is an economic system that prices fossil fuels accurately without subsidies.” IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin

DG Gabriel

IRENA’s costing report shows that prices for Germany’s residential solar systems have fallen 64% since 2008 and are now cheaper than utility-scale projects in many countries.

Adnan Amin will speak later this month at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue on the potential impact and benefits of the rapid scale up of renewable energy worldwide, and IRENA and Germany will release a renewable energy roadmap for Germany later in 2015.

This was the first official visit to IRENA’s new headquarters, which received a four-pearl rating from Estidama for its energy and water efficiency. The building uses 42% less energy than global standards and 48% less water than typical buildings in Abu Dhabi.

Leaders Advance Plans to Unlock Renewable Energy Potential in Central America

An initiative to integrate more renewable energy into the Central America power system took one step forward this week as regional vice-ministers, directors of energy, and directors of climate change met in El Salvador to discuss Central America’s energy future.

With a population of 40 million and a more than 3% annual economic growth rate, Central America’s power needs are rapidly increasing. Regional demand grew 65% over the last 12 years and an estimated 7 GW of new electric generation capacity will be needed by 2020.

To meet increasing energy needs with clean, renewable energy, IRENA and the Central American Integration System (SICA) are developing the Central America Clean Energy Corridor initiative. The initiative aims to integrate more renewables into the existing Central American Electrical Interconnection System, which stretches from Guatemala to Panama. The recently finished 1,800 kilometre-long transmission line is currently underutilized, presenting a clear opportunity for the deployment of more renewable energy in the region.

“Central America possesses vast resources for hydropower, biomass, geothermal, wind and solar energy. These could be harnessed to help provide clean, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to meet regional energy needs and support in-country development. Accelerating renewables deployment will help the region achieve energy security, develop local economies and create jobs while contributing to efforts to address climate change.” – IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin


This week’s workshop, the first jointly-organized event since IRENA and SICA signed a Memorandum of Understanding last May, brought together key regional and national stakeholders to discuss next steps. While the potential of the corridor is high, there are still barriers to overcome including the lack of regulation, technical tools and local experience operating a regional power system with medium to high shares of variable renewable energy.

The workshop resulted in feedback that will help move the initiative from concept to reality.

“The corridor concept is not new. Its first implementation is already underway in countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa power pools, promoting cross-border trade of renewable electricity. We believe that implementation of the Clean Energy Corridor in Central America can further diversify its energy mix, reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and shape a more sustainable future through harnessing its large renewables resource potential.” – Mr. Amin

*As a precursor to the El Salvador meeting, Latin America energy leaders met in Abu Dhabi in January to discuss the deployment of renewable energy in the region.

Renewable Energy Can Fuel India’s Economic Growth, Says IRENA Director-General

Scaling up renewable energy in India is the topic of the day as government officials, investors, and energy industry leaders gather in New Delhi, India to attend RE-Invest, the First Renewable Energy Global Investors’ Meet & Expo.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, delivered today’s keynote address, stressing the importance of renewable energy in sustainably meeting India’s growing energy needs. India is the world’s third largest economy and the fourth largest energy consumer. By 2030, India will surpass China as the world’s most populous nation, demanding more than twice as much energy as is needed today.

“India’s increasing demand for energy can no longer be met through traditional energy sources alone. Renewable energy must be a major part of the solution because it can meet the demand cheaply and sustainably while at the same time achieving broader socio-economic objectives.” Mr. Amin

According to IRENA’s new report Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014, the cost of generating power from renewable energy sources has reached parity or dropped below the cost of fossil fuels for many technologies in many parts of the world. Biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar are all competitive with or cheaper than coal, oil and gas-fired power stations. This holds true even without financial support and despite falling oil prices. Solar photovoltaic (PV) is leading the cost decline, with solar PV module costs falling more than 75 per cent since the end of 2009 and the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar PV falling 50 per cent since 2010.

India has some of the lowest development costs for renewable technologies worldwide. Average installed costs for biomass, hydropower and onshore wind in India are between USD 1,240 and 1,390/kW. Average installed costs for large-scale solar PV have also fallen dramatically in India to USD 1,670/kW. In Europe by comparison, average total installed wind costs are USD 2,000/kW and average installed costs for large-scale solar PV are USD 2,330/kW. India’s significant volumes of agricultural residues (e.g. straw and sugarcane bagasse) also provide some of the lowest cost electricity in the world with an average cost of USD 0.04/kWh.

“Falling prices are driving renewable energy investment in India, which rose 13 per cent last year and is expected to surpass 10 billion dollars in 2015. Adoption of increasingly cost-effective renewables holds the genuine promise of a new age of socio-economic development, powered by clean, increasingly decentralised, and sustainable energy. The opportunity for India is tremendous.” – Mr. Amin

In addition to being increasingly economical, Mr. Amin stressed that renewable energy provides strong social and environmental benefits, simultaneously improving public health and security, creating jobs, reducing air pollution, boosting GDP and improving the balance of trade. The renewable energy industry now employs 6.5 million people globally, a number IRENA estimates could top 16 million by 2030. India is the world’s fourth largest employer in the sector, with 391,000 renewable energy jobs.

“India has one of the most ambitious renewable energy programmes in the world and developments in India will strongly influence the trajectory of the energy transformation worldwide. The signs of progress so far are encouraging, and the attendance here today is testament to the recognition that renewables are a fantastic investment opportunity.” – Mr. Amin

Quote of the Day: US Secretary of State John Kerry

Excerpts from his speech at the UN Climate Conference in Lima, Peru:

“Since President Obama took office, the United States has upped our wind energy production more than threefold, and we’ve upped our solar energy production more than tenfold. We’ve also become smarter about the way we use energy in our homes and businesses. And as a result, we’re emitting less overall than we have at any time in the last 20 years.

This is by far the most ambitious set of climate change actions that the United States has ever undertaken. And it’s the reason we were able to recently announce our post-2020 goal of reducing emissions from 26 to 28 percent, from 2005 levels, by 2025. That will put us squarely on the road to a more sustainable and prosperous economy. And the upper end of this target would also enable us to cut our emissions by 83 percent by 2050 – which is what science says we need to do to meet the goal of preventing over 2 degrees of Celsius warming.


And at the end of the day, if nations do choose the energy sources of the past over the energy sources of the future, they’ll actually be missing out on the opportunity to build the kind of economy that will be the economy of the future and that will thrive and be sustainable.

Coal and oil may be cheap ways to power an economy today in the near term, but I urge nations around the world – the vast majority of whom are represented here, at this conference – look further down the road. I urge you to consider the real, actual, far-reaching costs that come along with what some think is the cheaper alternative. It’s not cheaper.


And for everyone thinking that you can’t afford this transition or invest in alternative or renewable energy, do the real math on the costs. Consider the sizable costs associated with rebuilding in the wake of every devastating weather event. In 2012 alone, extreme weather events cost the United States $110 billion. When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last year, the cost of responding to the damage exceeded $10 billion.

The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the cost of immediate energy need or energy transition. We have to factor in the long-term cost of carbon pollution. And we have to factor in the cost of survival itself. And if we do, we will find that the cost of pursuing clean energy now is far cheaper than paying for the consequences of climate change later


I said earlier that the solution to climate change is as clear as the problem. It’s here. The solution is energy policy.

Round Up: Quotes on Renewable Energy from COP 20

 Paul Watkinson

“Renewables have a huge role to play in mitigating climate change because one of the key challenges is to decarbonize our energy system and renewables are the key way forward in doing that. Also, this is not just about reducing emissions, it’s about development, access to energy, and moving forward in a positive way…renewable energy can change people’s lives overnight. – Paul Watkinson, Head of Climate Negotiations team, France

 Adnan Amin

“To drive the rapid uptake of renewables, legislators have to take an urgent and active approach, adopting new policy frameworks at the national and regional levels. Without the support of legislators, we will be unable to turn the tide. I encourage you to come together and embrace the extraordinary opportunities the renewable revolution has to offer.” – Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General


“Quite frankly, there is no answer to climate change without substantially, dramatically, increasing the amount of renewable energy in the global energy system.” – Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC

 Espen Ronneberg

“Renewable energy, at least from the perspective of small islands states, is absolutely crucial in the fight against climate change. The amount of money we spend each year on fossil fuels in totally unsustainable. By utilizing renewables we can also significantly improve lives through energy access while reducing fossil fuel purchases.” – Espen Ronneberg, Climate Change Advisor, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

 Majid Al Suwaidi

“The United Arab Emirates recognized early that our economy was based on one thing, oil and gas, so we needed to diversify. Renewable energy projects now make economic sense, specifically solar for our region. If renewables work in the UAE, they can work anywhere in the world.” – Majid Al Suwaidi, Chief Climate Change Negotiator, UAE

 Barbara Hendricks

“Overall it is a question of gradually tackling a key challenge: power generation in Germany needs to be almost carbon-free by 2050 in order to achieve our national and European climate targets. Replacing fossil power generation with renewable energies makes the biggest contribution to this.” – Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environment Minister of Germany

 Mark Kenber

“Business is finding that committing to renewable energy makes sense. They are making the switch for business reasons…it actually saves them money.” – Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group


“Thanks to national policies, Sweden has achieved a 23% emission reduction since 1990 and our GDP has risen 60% during that same period. This proves that renewables make economic sense. Our dependency on fossil fuel has been reduced by half, and we are now one of the most renewable energy-dependent economies.” – Katja Awiti, Deputy Director General, Climate Department, Ministry of Climate and Environment Sweden


 “The future of renewable energy is fundamentally a choice. All of the resources and technologies are there, but legislators and governments have to choose a renewables path.” – Martin Hullin from REN21

 Rob Fowler

“I think renewable energy really has the primary role in mitigating climate change. If we are going to reduce fossil fuel emissions, which is the key here, then renewables have to take their place; energy is not going to stop being a necessary commodity for people.” – Rob Fowler, Gold Standard Foundation

Quote of the Day: Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber

“Business is finding that committing to renewable energy makes sense. They are making the switch for business reasons…it actually saves them money.”

Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group, discussing the RE 100 campaign during a side event today at COP 20.

The RE 100 campaign aims to get 100 of the world’s top companies to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2020. IKEA, Swiss Re, BT, Formula E, H&M, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier, J. Safra Sarasin, Yoox and others have already committed.

Quote of the Day From Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environment Minister of Germany

Germany will continue the expansion of renewable energies to lower emissions from fossil-fuel power plants by an additional 22 million tonnes by 2020.

Overall it is a question of gradually tackling a key challenge: power generation in Germany needs to be almost carbon-free by 2050 in order to achieve our national and European climate targets. Replacing fossil power generation with renewable energies makes the biggest contribution to this.

Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environment Minister of Germany at COP 20 side event “Meeting national climate mitigation targets: Experiences from Germany and Mexico”