Tag Archives: sustainable energy

[Video] Sustainable Transportation Innovators Speak Out at COP22 Energy Day

One of the sub-themes emerging at this year’s Global Climate Action Agenda Energy Day at COP22, co-organised by IRENA and Sustainable Energy for All, was sustainable transport. Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, the pioneering aircraft that flew around the world powered only by the sun, captured the sentiments of many during the day’s discussions immediately following his participation.

Continue reading [Video] Sustainable Transportation Innovators Speak Out at COP22 Energy Day

The Transformative Role of Renewable Energy – Energy Day at COP 22

“The climate objectives agreed in Paris require nothing less than the radical decarbonisation of the global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General, speaking before the start of Energy Day at COP22 on November 11.

“Transitioning rapidly to a future fuelled by renewable energy, combined with improving energy efficiency, is the single most effective way to stave off catastrophic climate change while providing citizens with a better quality of life. But the pace and scale of change needs to dramatically increase if we are to fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement. Governments need to create the necessary policy and finance frameworks to catalyse a groundswell of initiatives, as the private sector develops its own decarbonisation strategies. This is well within our reach,” the Director-General said.

Energy Day was jointly organized by IRENA and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in cooperation with the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) and the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency. It was one of a series of thematic days hosted by “Climate Champions” Minister Hakima El Haite (Morocco) and Laurence Tubiana (France),  held under the auspices of the COP22 Presidency. The full programme and speaker’s lineup can be found here. Continue reading The Transformative Role of Renewable Energy – Energy Day at COP 22

A Renewable Urban Agenda

“By readdressing the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed, and managed, the New Urban Agenda will help to end poverty and hunger… reduce inequalities, promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, achieve gender equality… improve human health and well-being, as well as foster resilience and protect the environment,” declares the New Urban Agenda, the world’s latest commitment to develop sustainable cities.

Adopted on 20 October at the Habitat III conference in Quito, the principles of the New Urban Agenda embrace sustainable energy to drive economic prosperity and social well-being. Continue reading A Renewable Urban Agenda

Living Sustainably: Future Renewable Cities

For millennia, the vast majority of the world’s population lived in the countryside. But with the onset of the agricultural and industrial revolution in the early 19th Century, technological and societal changes encouraged increased urbanisation. Fast forward to today and more than 54% of the world’s population lives in cities — a situation that brings both good and bad. One of the most pressing challenges is making sure that cities, which represents 65% of global energy demand and produce 70% of CO­2 emissions, are economically and environmentally sustainable.

To address the challenges and opportunities inherent in creating sustainable cities, the United Nations organises every 20 years a Conference of Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, known as ‘Habitat’. This year Habitat III, the third summit of its kind, convenes from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. The conference aims to adopt a “New Urban Agenda” that will lay the future groundwork for policies and approaches to sustainable development for cities around the world. Continue reading Living Sustainably: Future Renewable Cities

IRENA and the Inter-American Development Bank Award Support to Renewable Energy Project Development

IRENA and the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Sustainable Energy Marketplace for Latin America and the Caribbean, have announced a $300,000 technical assistance award to advance the development of six renewable energy projects across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The projects — based in Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico — cover a range of areas including solar, wind, and carbon management. “The Sustainable Energy Marketplace supports projects at different stages of development. Through the project development support and the work with IDB, this platform will create a bigger, more liquid market for renewable energy projects that will eventually improve access to sustainable and reliable energy in a financially sustainable manner,” said Henning Wuester, Director of IRENA’s Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre. Continue reading IRENA and the Inter-American Development Bank Award Support to Renewable Energy Project Development

IRENA to Host 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi

Access to electricity in remote and rural areas is necessary to combat poverty and meet the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Roughly 15% of the world’s population lives without electricity and many more with unreliable access. Off-grid renewable energy solutions are a cost-effective, environmentally-sustainable and scalable option to expand access to electricity to reach unconnected areas.

The business case to deploy off-grid renewable energy solutions (stand-alone and mini-grid systems) in rural areas has never been stronger. The big question is – How can we scale-up off-grid renewable energy deployment? Continue reading IRENA to Host 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi

Sustainable Energy for All and SDG 7 in Focus

World leaders gathered last weekend at the United Nations General Assembly and formally adopted new development goals as successors to the Millennium Development Goals – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 ambitious global goals will set the course for the world’s development over the next 15 years. They broadly cover poverty, health, gender equality, sustainable development, economic growth, environment, climate, justice and other conditions necessary for individual, collective and global well-being. Renewable energy will play a role in achieving many of these goals.

SDG 7 in particular seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Specifically, it sets out to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

To mobilise efforts to achieve sustainable energy and the newly adopted SDG 7, the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) global initiative was launched and IRENA serves as the initiative’s Renewable Energy Hub. In this role, IRENA has developed the Global Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap 2030), which explores pathways to double the share of renewables in the global energy mix.

The key finding underpinning the REmap programme, across IRENA’s cross continental, regional and country-specific analyses, is that doubling the share of renewables worldwide by 2030 is possible. The global share of renewable energy in terms of total final energy consumption in 2014 stood at 18 per cent. According to IRENA’s analysis it can exceed 30 per cent by 2030 with the renewable energy technology options identified in the study. Given rapid technological progress, combined with falling costs, a better understanding of financial risk and a growing appreciation of wider benefits, renewable energy has become an increasingly viable and cost-effective option, and the business case for renewable energy investment today is compelling.

“The potential for greater renewable energy shares as per REmap exists in all countries. If the political will and enabling environment for investment is there, there are enough resources around the world for the transition to a low-carbon economy based on sustainable energy to be made today.” – Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General

IRENA is also playing a role in the development of a statistical framework for reviewing progress made towards realising SDG 7 and its targets, which will receive final approval by the UN Statistical Commission next March.

Forty countries accounting for 80 per cent of global energy use are now engaged in REmap. Renewable energy is featured in national energy strategies and climate action plans of at least 164 countries around the world, up almost four-fold from 43 countries a decade ago and 131 of these countries are developing and emerging economies.