IRENA announced 25 million dollars for two solar photovoltaic projects in Mauritius and Rwanda. The investment will be injected in loans by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and IRENA, the global platform for international cooperation on renewable energy. The projects have the potential to significantly improve the lives of over 2.5 million people and alleviate poverty by bringing affordable energy.
New onshore wind and solar energy projects are set to deliver electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels plants, with other green technologies also rapidly gaining a cost advantage over dirty fuels. According to a new cost analysis from IRENA, within two years "all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range, with most at the lower end or undercutting fossil fuels". "This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm," said IRENA's Director-General, Adnan Amin.
The cost of renewable energy is now falling so fast that it should be a consistently cheaper source of electricity generation than traditional fossil fuels within just a few years, according to a new report from IRENA. With further price falls expected for these and other green energy options, IRENA says all renewable energy technologies should be competitive on price with fossil fuels by 2020.
A joint parliamentary forum of the Federal National Council (FNC) and the IRENA saw legislators from around the world come together in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, to discuss solutions in implementing sustainable development goals. The FNC-IRENA joint forum, held ahead of next week's World Future Energy Summit, focused on the role of global legislators in implementing the SDG - particularly renewable energy deployment and leveraging energy-water-food nexus.
Millions of people have gained access to electricity through renewable energy during the past five years, a joint parliamentary forum organised by the Federal National Council and IRENA. Adnan Z Amin, Director-General of IRENA said: “Today, renewables are the most economic option for off-grid electrification. At least 60 million people are served through off-grid renewable energy systems in Africa, and almost all of them gained access to electricity during the past five years,” he said.
According to a report by IRENA, around 9.8 million people now work in the renewables sector worldwide. In fact, wind turbine service technician and solar photovoltaic installer are the fastest-growing occupations in the US. And the £17.5bn that will be invested in the UK offshore wind sector should also create thousands of new jobs.
Industrial metals, liquefied natural gas and steel finished 2017 in stunning fashion as a crackdown on pollution in China, the world’s no. 2 economy, boosts demand for cleaner fossil fuels and raw materials vital to clean-tech industries. World solar power capacity has ballooned to around 300 gigawatts from just 1 GW in 2000, according to IRENA data. Growth is largely driven by China, approaching 100 GW of capacity. IRENA says China can add 50 GW a year of capacity.
IRENA’s REmap analysis indicating a doubling of the share of renewable energy globally by 2030 shows that Africa could be home to more than 70GW of solar PV capacity by 2030. This will yield low-cost electricity to power Africa’s future and provide access to the approximately 600 million Africans who still lack access to electricity today.
The Kuwaiti new electricity minister has said Kuwait is determined to produce 15 percent of power from renewable energy by 2030. The deserts in Kuwait contain abundant solar and wind resources. Its solar potential, as measured in global horizontal irradiance, amounts to 1,900 kilowatt-hour per square meter per year, according to IRENA data.
The 44-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) represents some of the world’s most vulnerable island nations fighting a virtually losing battle against rising sea levels triggered by global warming and climate change. The Maldives, as the Chair of AOSIS, and in collaboration with IRENA, launched the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy in October, which will facilitates support for Small Island States in their transition to renewable energy, and in achieving energy efficiency.
Discussions at the 14th Meeting of the Council of IRENA centered on scaling up renewable energy deployment and investment. Council members also considered means to resolve the gap, identified in a recent IRENA report, between national renewable energy plans, actual deployment, and targets set within the framework of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Discussion focused on the potential for members to increase the share of renewable energy included in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
Of India’s 1.3 billion citizens, almost 20% still lack electricity. To help combat this, the country has launched an ambitious renewable-energy plan, broadly focused on solar and wind power. In a review published this year, IRENA lists India among the six countries with Brazil, China, Germany, Japan and the United States that accounted for most of the renewable-energy jobs in 2016.
Implemented properly, India’s renewable energy push could do more than just slow down global warming. It could help pull millions out of poverty, especially in rural communities. At last count, the solar and wind industry in India employed 151,000 people. IRENA estimates the solar industry in India employs 103,000 people, including 31,000 in grid-connected and 72,000 in offgrid applications, while another 48,000 people work in the wind sector.
According to IRENA, Croatia, which imports nearly 40 percent of its energy needs, could develop 3,200 megawatts of solar power by 2030. The government is drafting a new strategy aimed at reducing energy imports which is likely to be completed next year. Croatia has installed power of 4,500 MW, mostly from coal and hydroelectricity. Renewable power accounts for 28 percent of production.
As policymakers and other actors assemble at the UN climate change conference, there's a sense that the euphoria of Paris is behind us. The tasks of implementation and raising ambition are ahead, says IRENA's Adnan Amin. Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, form the cornerstone of global climate cooperation. Put forward under the Paris Agreement they represent national pledges to adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions together, they symbolize a collective roadmap to a climate-safe future.
Batteries are key to electric cars and, by storing energy for when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, they are also vital when it comes to enabling renewable energy to reach its full potential. Here too, a megatrend is massively falling prices for lithium-ion batteries, which are down 75% over the past six years. IRENA expects further falls of 50-66% by 2030 and a massive increase in battery storage.
The cost of installing solar energy is going to plummet again. Utility-scale solar power costs could drop 60 percent over the next 10 years. The already booming renewable energy sector will see a sharp drop in costs thanks to improvements in efficiency and technology, the head of IRENA said. The agency expects the cost of batteries, an essential and expensive piece of the transition to renewables, to drop by 60 to 70 percent in the next 10 years.
Solar power costs will fall by another 60 percent over the next decade giving an already booming market another boost, the head of IRENA said. IRENA expects 80 to 90 GW of new solar capacity, enough to power more than 8 billion LED light bulbs, to be added globally each year over the next 5 to 6 years, Adnan Amin, the Director-General of IRENA told Reuters.
The Paris Accord carbon emission goals are "absolutely achievable" even after the U.S. pulled out as countries are showing strong commitment to the agreement, says Adnan Amin of IRENA. "There is a strong sense of commitment from the G7 and G20 countries to meet the emissions target," added Adnan Amin.
Ten years have passed since the first Singapore International Energy Week. In that time, the world's energy landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation, spurred by an unprecedented expansion in renewables. Globally, new power-generating capacity from renewables has outstripped those fuelled by conventional sources for the last five years.