Renewable energy is the proven, faster, cheaper, safer and cleaner option for supplying electricity without exacerbating the climate crisis. These qualities are why the share of renewables in the global capacity expansion in 2020 was 82 percent, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Climber Tassos Baltas points up at a 22-metre high mast which is monitoring wind speeds on the summit of a rocky hillside on the Greek island of Evia and declares, "This mast which has been installed next to us is an omen of catastrophe." As falling costs have made wind power attractive, there's an incentive to move fast. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy, the overall cost of new projects both onshore and offshore roughly halved in the decade to 2020.
On Monday, several chief executives of the world’s biggest wind energy companies told G20 leaders that efforts to meet global climate goals need to address wind turbine installation urgently. Particularly, the International Energy Agency and the International Renewables Energy Agency expect wind energy to form the backbone of global electricity generation by 2050. Indeed, 93 gigawatts were installed in 2020 despite the worldwide pandemic, mainly in China and the US; however, annual deployment will have to quadruple in the next decade to set big economies on the path to reach climate targets.
The hard work of cutting Europe’s emissions to net-zero starts now. The European Commission proposed a legislative package Wednesday that aims to take major steps forward in the effort to eradicate fossil fuels .International Renewable Energy Agency Director-General Francesco La Camera said the legislative package “confirmed the EU’s energy transition leadership” and predicted the measures would foster economic growth, create jobs and drive competitiveness.
Millions of workers stand to benefit from new jobs in the solar industry. But experts still see challenges that could overshadow this golden opportunity. As of 2019, around 11.5 million people worldwide were working in the renewable energy sector, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Growth in clean energy is accelerating, both in the U.S. and abroad. Last year, the world added a record of more than 260 gigawatts of renewable-electricity capacity, almost 50% more than in 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
It is no longer credible to argue that new coal power plants are needed to provide affordable electricity access for all. A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency last month showed that renewables were already the cheapest source of power.
We've just enjoyed our first blissful sleepover weekend with our 20-month granddaughter, Hazel, so maybe that softened me up. The worlds of technology and business are showing some positive signs. The cost of solar and wind power, for instance, is plummeting. But these still only supply around 14% of the world's total energy demand, according to the renewables agency, IRENA.
If the saying “a week is a long time in politics” is a bit cliche, it’s certainly true that the past month has been a long time in terms of the politics of the climate crisis. Add to these trillions reports from organisations such as the International Renewable Energy Agency on the incredibly low cost of renewables as compared to fossil fuels and for the States it makes sense to invest now to save later.
Halfway through his four-year term at the renewable energy agency, Franceso La Camera says this is the deciding decade for climate change.
When President Obama conceived of the New Energy Economy in 2009, the opposition labeled it as radical — something that would bankrupt the country for an amorphous goal. But since 2005, the United States has reduced its annual energy-related CO2 levels by 14% while its economy has grown by 28%. “If the energy transition is accelerated, the world economy will grow by 2.4% over the next decade, says the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Agency’s latest World Energy Transition Outlook flags shift to wind and solar-led energy systems would 'instigate profound changes across economies and societies' but cost $4.4trn a year.
Switching to clean energy pays off. A global energy transition that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees will create 122m jobs and reap as much as $165tn in benefits by 2050, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Energy transition is a daunting task but can bring unprecedented new possibilities to revitalise economies and lift people out of poverty,” said Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s Director-General.
As China's push to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 draws increased attention toward wind power, experts say moving wind farms to deeper waters could eliminate some of the challenges to offshore wind power and help expand the fleet of turbines. Offshore wind power is expected to account for 10 percent of total power generation in 2050, and 70 percent of the technical potential is in deeper waters suited to wind farms floating on the ocean surface rather than digging into the ocean bed, said Dolf Gielen, director of the International Renewable Energy Agency Innovation and Technology Center.
A surge in private lending for renewable energy projects this decade is key to meeting global targets to limit the rise of temperatures worldwide, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. “The changes we are seeing are structural,” La Camera said in an interview. “This decade will be decisive” in ensuring that the shift to cleaner energy is implemented.
Hastening energy transition is expected to grow the world’s economy by 2.4% over the next decade.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the first and third-biggest oil and gas producers in OPEC, are vying to become blue hydrogen and ammonia exporters as the two Gulf states plot oil production capacity hikes that they want to intertwine with a clean energy brand. However, the UAE has a greater ability to produce green hydrogen and ammonia, given its bigger renewable energy installed capacity, which was 2.54 GW at the end of 2020, compared with Saudi Arabia's 413 MW, based on figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Falling costs of renewable energy generation could drive down the cost of hydrogen production, particularly in the Middle East, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report on Tuesday.
Almost two-thirds of wind and solar projects built globally last year will be able to generate cheaper electricity than even the world’s cheapest new coal plants, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Now the real challenge begins: sector by sector, country by country, the battle is over competitiveness. The latest testimony comes from the report that Irena, the international agency for renewable energy, published just as Parliament was preparing to vote on the future of the climate.