At a media frenzied event last March, electric car manufacturer, Tesla, unveiled its Model 3. Priced to compete with conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles, it attracted over 325,000 reservations within a week. The hype built around this vehicle, and several other fast and slick electric cars, is but a symptom of a much larger and growing movement across the motor vehicle industry, to cut the transport sector’s oil addiction and switch to electric power.
Globally the stock of electric vehicles is on the rise, and in 2015 more than one million electric vehicles were on the road. That number grew to more than two million in 2016, with China, the US, and several European countries leading the way in uptake. Continue reading Enabling Variable Renewables and Driving Down Emissions, with Electric Vehicles
If the aviation sector were a country, it would be the eighth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world — using planes and helicopters to move people and cargo around the world produces around two percent of the world’s planet warming gases. In 2010, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the primary contributor of human-caused climate change, from international aviation amounted to 448 gigatonnes (Gt). The International Civil Aviation Organisation has forecasted that CO2 emissions from the aviation sector will increase to the range of 682 Gt to 755 Gt by 2020, and could even be as high as 2,700 Gt by 2050, a six-fold increase from 2010 levels, if nothing is done about it.
So what can be done? What’s the environmentally responsible solution for aviation, and how can emissions be reduced, short of removing planes from the skies? Continue reading Sustainable Flight with Biofuels
Over a billion people in rural and peri-urban areas live without electricity, and another 2.9 billion rely on traditional fuels (like firewood) for cooking and heating. The Sustainable Development Goals recognise that bringing affordable electricity access to these people will enable increased productivity, higher incomes, improved food and water security, enhanced access to healthcare and education, and a host of other benefits towards developing communities and raising people out of poverty.
But what’s the best way to sustainably bring electricity access to people and gain this myriad of benefits in a timely manner? Off-grid renewables offer one approach that fulfils these needs and is both economical and good for the environment. Continue reading Ministers Gather to Discuss Development with Off-Grid Renewables
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the frontlines of global climate change. Dependent on the ocean for their livelihoods, yet threatened by its rising and acidifying waters, this assemblage of the world’s lowest lying countries are some of the most outspoken and driven countries for decarbonisation and renewable energy.
Matching ambition with reality, however, is not simple, and SIDS need international support to accomplish their decarbonisation goals. But what does that support look like? What is needed to identify the best pathways for SIDS to achieve a renewable energy future and to establish the necessary frameworks for accessing financial support at the speed and scale required to transform their energy systems? Continue reading Finding a Way to Transform Energy on Islands
From 14 to 15 January 2017, the seventh session of the Assembly of IRENA gathered 3 heads of state, 75 ministers, government officials from over 150 countries, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organisations. As IRENA’s ultimate decision-making authority, the Assembly brought together the international community to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.
Taking place at the St. Regis Saadiyat Hotel in Abu Dhabi, with a day of preliminary meetings and discussions on 13 January, the Assembly focused on the critical role of renewable energy in combating climate change, expanding energy access and meeting global sustainable development goals. Continue reading Energy Community Gathers at IRENA’s 7th Assembly
Entering 2017 presents an ideal moment to review IRENA’s progress and what better way to do that than to take account of what has occurred in the year just finished— and so here we present to you IRENA’s year in review.
Before we start, in case you missed it, you can catch-up on what the Agency achieved in 2014 and 2015, in IRENA’s At A Glance.
But now without further ado, let’s travel through the last 12 months and take a look at IRENA’s activities and accomplishments in 2016. Continue reading IRENA’s Year in Review 2016
Thirty kilometres from the bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi, lies a remarkable undertaking that could one day change the environmental impact of air travel.
Set on a two-hectare farm down the road from the IRENA Headquarters building, a pilot project conducted by Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) is bringing private sector firms together to answer ‘is it possible to create a sustainable jet-powering biofuel?’ Continue reading Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert