18 July 2019| Articles
In a new series of Innovation Day events, IRENA is traveling around the world to connect policy makers, business representatives and innovators to showcase how innovative solutions can help deliver a renewable-powered future. The first ever Innovation Day took place in Montevideo in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Uruguay and supported by the Swedish Ministry of Infrastructure and the Swedish Energy Agency. Uruguay is among the leaders in renewable energy deployment both in Latin America and globally. By hosting IRENA’s first Innovation Day, Uruguay provided insights from a country perspective in the region on installing renewable power and making use of innovations.
The event brought together over 200 participants from across Latin America and abroad to inspire and inform the broader and faster uptake of innovative solutions in the power sector. It demonstrated examples of innovations in enabling technologies like blockchain and storage, market design, business models and system operation being trialed or deployed today. Participants discussed the integration of renewables into the power grids, digitalisation and enabling technologies like storage, electrification of transport and buildings, the potential of power-to-hydrogen and the empowerment of consumers in the energy transition.
Global climate objectives under the UN Paris Agreement require the share of electricity consumed in end-use sectors (industry, transport and buildings) to more than double by 2050. Innovations can support the integration of higher shares of renewable energy in power systems. Particularly solar and wind could account for 60% of the total power generated by mid-century globally.
Innovation Days build on IRENA’s biennial Innovation Week event but follow a focused national and regional approach. Innovation Days are a response to feedback from participants at the 2016 and 2019 Innovation Weeks, as well as the interest of IRENA Members to both share their own experiences and to learn from others how to better adopt technology-driven innovations in their national systems. The regional events will also provide information about IRENA ‘Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future’ report, mapping and categorizing the many examples of innovations and innovative solutions being created by pioneering companies, backed by far-sighted governments around the world.
The next Innovation Day will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on 4th September 2019, alongside the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.