IRENA will be present at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) that takes place in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 13 December 2019. Together with a wide range of partners, through a series of high-level events, panel discussions and initiatives, IRENA will ensure that renewable energy is at the highest level on the global agenda of the international community and encourages higher renewable energy ambitions as part of national climate solutions.
Key activities include the facilitation of the Energy Day within the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (GCA) on 7 December focusing on the 1.5°C pathway and following-up on the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York. IRENA will also support the Chilean COP25 Presidency at their Energy Ministerial on 10 December by co-hosting a session on strategies for carbon neutrality in the energy sector that are being implemented around the globe. IRENA’s Director-General Francesco la Camera will provide a keynote on enablers for the integration of renewable energy. In cooperation with UNFCCC and SEforALL, IRENA will host a roundtable on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and clean energy) on 10 December. On 11 December, IRENA’s official side event will discuss successful examples of renewable energy strategies in NDCs that meet sustainable development and climate objectives aligned with the 1.5°C pathway. On 12 December, the Agency will organise a side event at the NDC Partnership Pavilion showcasing examples of renewable energy in NDCs. Finally, the Agency will also hold sessions on innovation and investment at the UNFCCC’s Action Hub as well side events on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at the AOSIS Pavilion.
It’s Possible Campaign
In support of the UN Secretary General’s call for decisive climate action, IRENA has launched a communication campaign that underpins renewable energy as a practical climate action solution. In cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Agency’s ‘Lead the change. It’s possible with renewables’ campaign aims to inform about the potential of renewable energy technologies and in turn encourage concrete climate action.
Find more information on irena.org/itspossible and join the campaign on social media with the hashtag #ItsPossible.
Main events by IRENA
Energy Action Event (Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action – GCA)
Saturday, 7 December | 10:00 – 13:00
The Event will focus on the large technological and financial potential that exists in the transition to a 1.5C pathway. Participants will discuss the state of the global energy transition and reflect on pre-2020 action plans for a climate-safe energy future. The session will provide examples of business models and new scalable solutions to promote replication.
Chile Energy Day / Chilean Pavilion
Tuesday, 10 December | 14:00 – 15:15 • IRENA session
Organised by the Chilean Ministry of Energy and supported by IRENA, the Energy Day will draw attention to strategies for carbon neutrality in the energy sector that are being implemented around the globe. As part of the Energy Day, Chile and IRENA are co-hosting a session entitled “Flexibility: The Key Enabler for the Integration of Mass Renewable Energy”. The session will identify pathways and actions policymakers can use to increase renewable energy penetration and reach carbon-neutrality in the energy sector, and the role that power system flexibility plays in achieving these goals.
Sustainable Development Goals (Energy) Roundtable
Tuesday, 10 December | 16:30 – 18:00
IRENA, SEforAll, and UNFCCC, with the support of IEA and REN21, will host the roundtable to take stock of progress made under SDG7 and discuss outlooks for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. Looking at SDG7 through the prism of climate means we must rethink how we produce, distribute and consume energy. The discussion will identify solutions, specifically focusing on electricity access, that can help accelerate action towards achieving SDG7 for a prosperous, climate-safe future for all.
Official IRENA side event
Wednesday, 11 December | 11:30 – 13:00
The session will discuss successful examples of renewable energy strategies in NDCs that meet sustainable development and climate objectives aligned with the 1.5°C pathway. This side event will explore strategies used by countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency at scale to increase the ambition of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and long-term low emission development strategies).
IRENA side event at NDC Partnership Pavilion
Thursday, 12 December | 16:30 – 17:30
The session will discuss examples of ambitious NDC targets that are scalable and replicable to others.
Indonesia’s First Pumped Storage Hydropower Plant to Support Energy Transition
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$380 million loan to develop Indonesia’s first pumped storage hydropower plant, aiming to improve power generation capacity during peak demand, while supporting the country’s energy transition and decarbonization goals.
“The Indonesian government is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, development of renewable energy, energy conservation, and use of clean energy technology. Emission reduction in the energy sector will be driven by new and renewable energy generation and application of energy efficiency,” said Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia.
Over 80 percent of the power generated for the Java-Bali grid, which supplies electricity to 70 percent of the country’s population, comes from fossil fuels. A key measure to support Indonesia’s decarbonization agenda is the development of energy storage to enable integration of renewable energy into the grid. Pumped storage hydropower plays a crucial role in this approach.
The financing will support the construction of the Upper Cisokan pumped storage hydropower plant, to be located between Jakarta and Bandung, with an expected capacity of 1,040 MW. The facility will have significant power generation capacity to meet peak demand, provide significant storage capacity to enable a larger penetration of renewable energies and, because of its close location to two large demand centers, will alleviate increasing transmission loads on the grid. As a result, a more environmentally friendly and reliable supply of electricity will benefit consumers in Java and Bali.
“We are excited about this project as it will be the first of its kind for Indonesia. It represents a turning point for Indonesia’s decarbonization pathway. The World Bank will continue to support Indonesia in its efforts to achieve resilient, sustainable, and inclusive development that will benefit the people of Indonesia now and in the future,” said Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
Pumped storage hydropower makes use of two water reservoirs at different elevations. At times of low electricity demand or when there is abundant generation from clean power sources, such as solar energy, power from the grid is used to pump water to the upper reservoir. Power is generated during peak demand, usually evening hours, as water moves down to the lower reservoir using a turbine, when electricity generation costs are high.
The project will help enhance the system flexibility and efficiency in balancing supply and demand, and therefore improve the reliability and quality of electricity services in Java and Bali. It also aims to support the government to integrate variable renewable energy into the Java-Bali grid, and to do so in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
Iran determined to boost oil exports despite sanctions
Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji has said the Islamic Republic is determined to increase its oil exports despite the U.S. sanctions on the country’s oil industry, adding that the use of oil sanctions as a “political tool” would harm the market.
“There is strong will in Iran to increase oil exports despite the unjust and illegal U.S. sanctions; I promise that good things will happen regarding Iran’s oil sales in the coming months,” Oji told the state TV.
As reported by IRIB, Oji noted that Iran can barter its crude oil for goods or even for services and investment not only in the oil industry but also in other sectors as well.
“Oil sales have dropped dramatically since the imposition of unjust sanctions, but this capacity exists in the Oil Ministry and all the industry’s departments to increase oil sales,” the minister said.
Iranian oil exports have plunged under U.S. sanctions, which were reimposed three years ago after Washington abandoned Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers.
“Iran will return to its pre-sanctions crude production level as soon as U.S. sanctions on Iran are lifted,” Oji said.
“We are against using oil as a political tool that would harm the oil market.”
Since April 9, Tehran and six world powers have been in talks to revive the nuclear pact. The sixth round of the negotiations adjourned on June 20. The next round of talks has yet to be scheduled.
Oji said Iran backed a decision made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, on Wednesday to stick to a policy from July of phasing out record output cuts by adding 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) a month to the market.
Iran has been gradually boosting crude oil production to get ready for a strong comeback into the global market as the talks with world powers over the nuclear deal show signs of progress.
According to a Bloomberg report, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) officials have stated that the country’s oil fields are going through overhaul operations and connections with oil buyers are being re-established.
“In the most optimistic estimates, the country could return to pre-sanctions production levels of almost four million barrels a day in as little as three months,” the report published in May stated.
IRENA and IAEA to Help African Union Develop Continental Power Master Plan
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been selected as modelling partners for the development of the African Continental Power Systems Master Plan (CMP). The initiative is led by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) with the technical and financial support of the European Union (EU), and is aimed at establishing a long-term continent-wide planning process. The two agencies’ modelling tools will be the official planning models utilised in this initiative.
African energy ministers tasked the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) to lead the development of the master plan. Following a two-year consultation process coordinated by the EU Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) for Sustainable Energy, the five African power pools selected IRENA and the IAEA to support the continent’s modelling and capacity needs. The two organisations will lead the development of an electricity master plan that promotes access to affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity supplies across the continent.
A unified transmission network in Africa will enable inter-country trade between African countries as well as cross-continental trade with Europe and Asia, via existing links in North Africa, allowing African countries to source electricity from a wide-range of competitive, clean energy sources. It will also create beneficial socioeconomic opportunities by increasing interregional access to affordable African renewable energy resources within the continent, fostering investment opportunities, job growth and ultimately contributing to the region’s sustainable development.
The urgency of this task is underlined by the prospect of carbon lock-in. Existing plans in Eastern and Southern African countries include more than 100 GW of new coal-fired power plants by 2040 – the development of which would triple carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 1,200 megatonnes (Mt) per year. Under the CMP, power generation options will be reviewed and re-considered to maximise socioeconomic benefits while simultaneously minimising emissions.
IRENA and the IAEA, as modelling partners, will support African stakeholders with the development of the CMP identifying surplus and deficit regions/countries in Africa in terms of electricity generation and demand. This will help identify the most cost-effective ways of expanding clean electricity generation and transmission infrastructure across the African continent.
IRENA and IAEA will also train AUDA-NEPAD staff and Power Pool experts on the use of the modelling tools, including IRENA’s System Planning Test (SPLAT) models using the IAEA’s Model for Energy Supply System Alternatives and their General Environmental Impacts (Message) tool, and support the team in the development of the CMP, ensuring knowledge transfer and capacity building.
The MESSAGE-SPLAT capacity expansion models are a key component and product of IRENA’s support to African countries. Built using the MESSAGE software, the agency has developed SPLAT models covering 47 African countries across the five African power pools. They have been used in IRENA’s capacity building programmes on energy planning across the continent.
The IAEA and IRENA cooperate on energy planning with a view to enhancing the effectiveness and impact of capacity-building efforts by joining the complementary competencies of the two organisations. The inter-agency cooperation was formalized through a Practical Arrangement, signed by both organizations on 2 November 2016, and extended for another three years in 2019.
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