REmap – IRENA’s Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future
REmap determines the realistic potential for countries, regions and the world to scale up renewables in order to ensure an affordable and sustainable energy future. REmap is unique in that is assesses worldwide renewable energy potential assembled from the bottom up, starting with separate country analyses done in collaboration with country experts, and then aggregating these results to arrive at a global picture. The analysis encompasses 40 countries representing 80% of global energy use.
The roadmap focuses not just on renewable power technologies, but also technology options in heating, cooling and transport. In determining the potential to scale up renewables REmap focuses on possible technologies pathways and assesses numerous other metrics, including: technology, sector and system costs; investment needs; externalities relating to air pollution and climate; CO2 emissions; and economic indicators such as employment and economic growth. Based on these country driven results, REmap provides insights to policy and decision makers for areas in which action is needed.
In 2016 the second edition of the REmap global report was released which includes a larger scope and more in-depth findings. The REmap programme has also expanded to include in-depth country and regional reports, and specific efforts focusing on emerging technologies, trends and co-benefits that result from higher renewables deployment.
Some of the key findings from the 2016 edition of the REmap global report “Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future” include:
To achieve this goal, the report identifies five priorities for action including:
- Significantly scaling up renewables is feasible and affordable, it would result in lower overall costs, save millions of lives due to lower air pollution, increase economic growth and employment, and set the world on a pathway to limiting temperature rise to 2 degree Celsius or below when combined with increased energy efficiency.
- Business-as-usual will only result in an increase of this share from 18% in 2010
to 21% by 2030.
- In order to achieve these benefits the renewable energy share must at least double over today’s level of 18%. Half of renewable energy today is traditional uses of bioenergy, with the other half coming from modern renewable technologies. By 2030 the share of modern renewables could reach 36% which is a doubling over today’s level. However because traditional uses of bioenergy are phased out during the period, the modern renewable energy share would quadruple.
- However according to the Reference Case the share will only increase from 18% today to 21% by 2030 –just around 0.15% increase per year. To reach 36% the world must achieve 1% per year, therefore a six-fold acceleration is needed.
- Renewables deployment need to take place across all areas, in the power sector, and in heating, cooling and transport. REmap shows that there is significant potential across all sectors.
- REmap finds that doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030 saves up to USD 4.2 trillion annually – 15 times higher than the costs – thanks to avoided expenditures relating to climate change and air pollution.
- A doubling would achieve up to 12 gigatonnes of energy-related CO2 emission reductions compared to the Reference Case in 2030. This is 5X higher than what countries have pledged to reduce through renewable energy in their NDCs. When coupled with improvements in energy efficiency, it would reduce emissions enough to set the world on a pathway to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, as called for in the Paris Agreement
- There are also important macro-economic benefits. Doubling the renewable energy share would result in 24.4 million jobs in the renewable energy sector in 2030, compared to 9.2 million in 2014.
- Correcting for market distortions to create a level playing field
- Introducing greater flexibility into energy systems, to allow for the variable nature of some forms of renewable energy
- Developing and deploying renewable energy solutions for heating and cooling in new urban development projects and industry
- Promoting electric transport based on renewable power and biofuels to reduce air pollution
- Ensuring the sustainable, affordable and reliable supply of bioenergy feedstock
The following REmap reports are available for download:
Currently 40 countries representing 80% of global energy use take part in REmap.
Dark green: original REmap countries
Light green: new countries added in 2014/2015