Tag Archives: REmap2030

A Renewable Future for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is growing fast — its population is expected to grow from around 615 million in 2014 to over 715 million by 2025, and its economies at a rate of five per cent per year. All of this growth is expected to fuel a four per cent annual growth in energy demand, raising the region’s share to over 7.5 per cent of the world’s total.

To meet this growing energy demand in a sustainable manner, last October, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) set an aspirational target of supplying 23 per cent of its total primary energy from modern renewable sources by 2025. With its current set of policies, the region is on path to only reach a 17 per cent share by that time — six percentage points short of the target.

Today, during the 34th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting being held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, IRENA and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) are previewing a study, Renewable Energy Outlook for ASEAN — a REmap analysis, showcasing technological and sectorial renewable energy deployment options that can help ASEAN countries achieve their target by 2025. The study will be released publically later this year.

Continue reading A Renewable Future for Southeast Asia

Laying the Route to Sustainable Transport

Technological development in renewable energy gives hope for a future where energy demand can be met sustainably. And while there are still some challenges in getting renewables on the electrical grid, using renewable energy for transport is even more complex.

The transport sector makes up 30 per cent of global energy consumption and its energy use is expected to grow one per cent every year till 2030. With the lowest renewable energy share of any sector, and making up 25 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions (a figure expected to rise to over a third by 2030), there is a growing urgency in finding ways to supply the energy we need to get around, in a sustainable manner. This challenge is the focus of a newly released IRENA working paper that lays out a renewable route to a more sustainable transport future.

Continue reading Laying the Route to Sustainable Transport

Dominican Republic’s Roadmap to a Renewable Future

Creating a sustainable future is the responsibility of all countries, and that includes allocating a greater share of the world’s energy mix to renewables. A new IRENA report, Renewable Energy Prospects: Dominican Republic, finds the Dominican Republic could by 2030 increase its share of modern renewable energy from 9 to 27%, and its share of renewable electricity generation from 12 to 44%, by adopting a series of recommendations.

Situated on the tropical island of Hispaniola, in the heart of Caribbean, the Dominican Republic’s shining sun and gentle winds, provides its 10 million inhabitants with rich opportunities for renewable energy generation. Continue reading Dominican Republic’s Roadmap to a Renewable Future

G20, IRENA take on renewable energy at energy ministers meeting

Energy ministers of the G20 and representatives of key intergovernmental organisations, including IRENA, recently met to discuss the G20 energy agenda including the progress that has been made since last October’s adoption of the IRENA-led G20 Toolkit of Voluntary Options for Renewable Energy Deployment — aimed at accelerating the adoption of renewable energy globally.

“Renewable energy offers a technical solution to energy access that meets multiple development goals and does it sustainably and in a climate-friendly way,” said Sakari Oksanen, IRENA Deputy Director-General, speaking at the G20 event in Beijing, China.

Continue reading G20, IRENA take on renewable energy at energy ministers meeting

Doubling Renewables Would Save 4+ Million Lives Annually

Doubling the global share of renewables by 2030 would dramatically decrease emissions harmful to human health – saving up to 4 million lives per year by 2030 – according to a brief released today by IRENA.

The True Cost of Fossil Fuels: Saving on the Externalities of Air Pollution and Climate Change, quantifies the social, economic and environmental costs related to fossil fuels. It finds that doubling the share of renewables by 2030 would decrease harmful emissions from pollutants such as ammonia, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and sulphur dioxide by 82%, 33%, 27% and 12% respectively. This reduced air pollution would result in savings of up to USD 3.2 trillion per year by 2030 due to the reduction of health-related costs. Continue reading Doubling Renewables Would Save 4+ Million Lives Annually

The Real Cost of Energy: Why Renewables Make More Sense

Op Ed by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin (originally published in the Huffington Post)

Energy-related greenhouse gas emissions have plateaued for the second year running – an extraordinary fact considering the global economy grew by more than 3% in the same period. This news, coming just before leaders from 175 countries gathered in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, provides a welcome sign of real progress in the fight against climate change.

But stabilizing energy-related emissions is not enough to fulfil the ambition of the Paris Agreement – the kind of ambition needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This will require using energy more efficiently, and transitioning rapidly (roughly six times faster than today’s pace) to an energy system powered by renewables. IRENA recently released the second edition of its Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future (REmap) which provides recommendations on how to do just that. Continue reading The Real Cost of Energy: Why Renewables Make More Sense

Doubling Renewables Can Save Trillions

By Dolf Gielen – Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre

In the race to fuel our ever-developing world, renewable energy is making some impressive gains against fossil fuels.

While coal use continues to decline in China and around the world, renewables are growing at an unprecedented pace. Renewable energy drew a record $280 billion of investment in 2015, and more new renewables capacity is being installed each year than new fossil-based and nuclear power combined. Continue reading Doubling Renewables Can Save Trillions

China’s Water Crisis: Renewables Offer Water Stress Solution

Water in China is a big issue.

According to the United Nations, China is home to 21% of the world’s population but contains only 7% of global freshwater supplies. Faced with an imminent water supply challenge, China introduced province-level water use quotas for 2015, 2020 and 2030, targeting improvements in water use efficiency across sectors, and rightly so.

The country’s water tables have dropped roughly one meter per year in the north where nearly half of the people live. The north is also home to more than half of national thermal power generation, four-fifths of coal production and reserves, and nearly half of China’s sown cropland, creating competition for limited water resources. Continue reading China’s Water Crisis: Renewables Offer Water Stress Solution

Africa Renewable Energy Projects Making a Difference

IRENA’s newly released report Africa 2030 provides a comprehensive roadmap for the continent’s energy transition, and illuminates a viable path to prosperity through renewable energy development. The report finds that Africa could feasibly generate 22% of its energy needs through the use of indigenous, clean, renewable energy by 2030. This is more than quadruple the 5% in place today. In doing so it would eliminate power shortages, bring electricity and development opportunities to rural villages, spur on industrial growth, create entrepreneurs, and support increased prosperity across the continent.

The report identifies nearly 10 exajoules – the equivalent of more than 341 megatonnes of coal – of options for sustainable development through renewable energy. Roughly 40 per cent of this energy would be in the power sector and 50 per cent of the energy would be through biomass-based heat applications.

As part of this roadmap, the following projects and programmes were highlighted to show action already taking place on renewables in Africa. They support renewables for heating, cooling and drying; provide capacity building, access to finance and create jobs; and provide holistic support.

 Renewables for Heating/Cooling/Drying

  • The ISAAC solar icemaker produces up to 50 kg of ice per sunny day that is capable of chilling up to 100 litres of milk. It induced businesses in Kenya for milk production, milk collection, packaging and sale for cooperatives, and the production of yogurt and mala that are sold at a higher price, generating additional profits.
  • The Developing Energy Enterprise Programme supports the deployment of improved cookstoves in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. At the end of June 2012, the program was supporting a total of 975 businesses across East Africa, 492 of which in the cookstove sector. Out of these, 257 are led by women.
  • Tunisia’s PROSOL funding mechanism started in 2005 with a supplier-lending phase, followed with a second consumer-lending phase that granted direct credit to households for solar water-heater installation and relieved suppliers from debt liability.
  • South Africa’s solar water heater programme by the national energy regulator of South Africa, ESCOM, has subsidized purchases of registered solar water heaters since 2008. By the end of 2011, more than 122 000 systems were rolled out, resulting in energy savings of approximately 60 GWh/year.
  • A large proportion of food products spoil before reaching market and drying products reduces such waste considerably. Solar dryers in Ghana developed by Silwood Farms at Pokuase reduce moisture content in maize from approximately 20 to 10 per cent within 6 days at 35–38°C, with similar results in other locally grown crops such as cassava, pepper, okra and pineapple.

Capacity Building for Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs

IRENA and the ECREEE have established the ECOWAS Entrepreneur Support Facility in April 2015 to provide advisory assistance to small and medium-sized renewable energy (particularly solar PV) entrepreneurs on matters related to business management and operations, project proposal refinement as well as supporting an entrepreneur to successfully bring his or her innovative ideas to fruition.

Access to Finance for Renewable Projects

  • The PSP Hydro project supports the construction of micro hydropower plants and invests in capacity building activities. PSP Hydro support has resulted in the development of six private micro hydropower plants.
  • The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has supported renewable projects in Mali, Mauritania and Sierra Leone. By providing up to half of a project’s needed funding, the facility reduces the investment challenges hindering efforts to extend electricity access across Africa.

Job Creation

Solar Sister is an initiative that retails portable solar lights in rural sub-Saharan Africa through female solar entrepreneurs. Sister uses a system of micro-consignment: female entrepreneurs selling solar lights do not pay for their inventory until a sale is made and cash flow is available, and no interest is charged.

Africa 2030 is built on a country-by-country assessment of supply, demand, renewable energy potential, and technology prospects. The effort is a part of IRENA’s REmap 2030 programme, which provides a roadmap to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030.

RRA is a country-driven process that helps IRENA to engage with relevant national or regional stakeholders in a dialogue to pinpoint renewable energy drivers, comparative advantages, enabling policies and measures. So far 12 RRAs have been facilitated in Africa and have triggered tangible changes in legislation, institutional set-ups and have led to concrete regional advisory services and initiatives.

Read Africa 2030: Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future

Energy Efficiency Vital to Doubling Global Share of Renewables

It may sound obvious that efforts to scale-up renewable energy and efforts to improve energy efficiency are interlinked. We consume less energy overall when we implement energy efficiency measures like installing building insulation or efficient lighting. In parallel, as we add more renewable energy to the world’s energy mix, the share of renewable vs. non-renewable energy sources increases. One simple way to look at it is, the less energy we consume thanks to energy efficiency measures, the higher the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. But explaining the synergies and trade-offs between renewable energy and energy efficiency objectives gets a bit more complex.

Thanks to a first-of-its kind collaboration between IRENA and the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency (C2E2), and a joint working paper published today, we now have a better understanding of the interplay between renewable energy technology deployment and energy efficiency improvements. The paper finds that when energy efficiency and renewable energy potentials are combined, total global energy demand can be reduced by up to 25% by 2030.

Many people assume that only energy efficiency results in decreased energy use, but the use of renewable energy also contributes to reducing energy demand. The paper shows that energy efficiency measures would account for 50 to 75% of the total energy savings, with renewable energy delivering the rest. This is caused by the use of modern renewable energy technologies, such as: the adoption of efficient cook stoves which increase conversion efficiency 2-3 times, therefore requiring less fuel; the use of electrification technologies like geothermal or air heat pumps which consume small amounts of renewable power but deliver 3-4 times their consumption of power in the form of heating or cooling; and the switch to power technologies like solar and wind power, which require no thermal conversion and therefore no wasted fuel.

The working paper, Synergies Between Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, is the first outcome of a collaboration between C2E2 and IRENA. The partnership is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, which aims to achieve three interlinked global objectives:

  1. Ensuring universal access to modern energy services.
  2. Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  3. Doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix.

To ensure each objective is met, global agencies were identified to act as “hubs” for the objectives with C2E2 as the energy efficiency hub (objective 2) and IRENA is the renewable energy hub (objective 3). C2E2 and IRENA have partnered to fill knowledge gaps, share new ideas and technologies from countries leading in renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment, and explore the interaction between the two objectives.

The recent working paper finds that achieving the renewable objective is dependent on achieving the efficiency objective. Put simply, it is not possible to achieve a doubling of the renewable energy share through renewable energy deployment alone. The quantitative assessments are analysed using data for eight countries (China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States), which covers half of global energy use. It also shows that increasing the share of renewables results in a higher energy efficiency improvement rate.

The guiding document for IRENA’s role as renewable energy hub of the SE4All initiative is REmap 2030 – a global roadmap outlining a plan to double renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030. REmap is the first global study of renewable energy potential built from the bottom-up, analysing 40 countries representing over 80% of global energy use. In addition to the power sector, the report looks at the three end-use sectors of buildings, industry and transport. The roadmap shows that doubling the renewable energy share in the global energy mix from 18% in 2010 to 36% by 2030 is not only technically feasible, but more affordable than the alternative. Doing so will also create jobs, reduce pollution and provide half of the emission cuts needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.