Connect with us

Energy News

IRENA to Encourage Renewable Energy Ambition at COP25

Published

on

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.

Follow IRENA’s newsroom and social media channels (FacebookTwitterInstagram) to stay up-to-date with COP25 developments and IRENA’s COP25 renewable energy events.

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.

IRENA

Continue Reading
Comments

Energy News

Sustainable transport key to green energy shift

Published

on

With global transport at a crossroads, government leaders, industry experts, and civil society groups are meeting in Beijing, China, for a UN conference to chart the way forward to a more sustainable future for the sector, and greater climate action overall. 

The three-day UN Sustainable Transport Conference, which opened on Thursday, will examine how transportation can contribute to climate response, economic growth and sustainable development. 

It is taking place just weeks before the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. 

In remarks to the opening, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined what is at stake. 

“The next nine years must see a global shift towards renewable energy. Sustainable transport is central to that transformation,” he said.  

The move to sustainable transport could deliver savings of $70 trillion by 2050, according to the World Bank.   

Better access to roads could help Africa to become self-sufficient in food, and create a regional food market worth $1 trillion by the end of the decade. 

Net-zero goal 

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how transport is “far more than a means of getting people and goods from A to B”, the UN chief said.

Rather, transport is fundamental to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, both of which were “badly off-track” even before the crisis. 

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but the door for action is closing, he warned. 

“Transport, which accounts for more than one quarter of global greenhouse gases, is key to getting on track. We must decarbonize all means of transport, in order to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 globally.” 

A role for everyone 

Decarbonizing transportation requires countries to address emissions from shipping and aviation because current commitments are not aligned with the Paris Agreement. 

Priorities here include phasing out the production of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, while zero emission vessels “must be the default choice” for the shipping sector. 

“All stakeholders have a role to play, from individuals changing their travel habits, to businesses transforming their carbon footprint,” the Secretary-General said. 

He urged governments to incentivize clean transport, for example through regulatory standards and taxation, and to impose stricter regulation of infrastructure and procurement. 

Safer transport for all 

The issues of safety and access must also be addressed, the Secretary-General continued. 

“This means helping more than one billion people to access paved roads, with designated space for pedestrians and bicycles, and providing convenient public transit options,” he said. 

“It means providing safe conditions for all on public transport by ending harassment and violence against women and girls, and reducing deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.” 

Making transport resilient 

Post-pandemic recovery must also lead to resilient transport systems, with investments going towards sustainable transport, and generating decent jobs and opportunities for isolated communities. 

“Public transport should be the foundation for urban mobility,” he said. “Per dollar invested, it creates three times more jobs than building new highways.” 

With much existing transport infrastructure, such as ports, vulnerable to extreme climate events, better risk analysis and planning are needed, along with increased financing for climate adaptation, particularly in developing countries. 

Mr. Guterres stressed the need for effective partnerships, including with the private sector, so that countries can work together more coherently. 

“The transformative potential of sustainable transport can only be unleashed if improvements translate into poverty eradication, decent jobs better health and education, and increased opportunities for women and girls. Countries have much to learn from each other,” he said. 

Continue Reading

Energy News

Decisive action by governments is critical to unlock growth for low-carbon hydrogen

Published

on

Governments need to move faster and more decisively on a wide range of policy measures to enable low-carbon hydrogen to fulfil its potential to help the world reach net zero emissions while supporting energy security, the International Energy Agency says in a new report released today.

Currently, global production of low-carbon hydrogen is minimal, its cost is not yet competitive, and its use in promising sectors such as industry and transport remains limited – but there are encouraging signs that it is on the cusp of significant cost declines and widespread global growth, according the IEA’s Global Hydrogen Review 2021.

When the IEA released its special report on The Future of Hydrogen for the G20 in 2019, only France, Japan and Korea had strategies for the use of hydrogen. Today, 17 governments have released hydrogen strategies, more than 20 others have publicly announced they are working to develop strategies, and numerous companies are seeking to tap into hydrogen business opportunities. Pilot projects are underway to produce steel and chemicals with low-carbon hydrogen, with other industrial uses under development. The cost of fuel cells that run on hydrogen continue to fall, and sales of fuel-cell vehicles are growing.

“It is important to support the development of low-carbon hydrogen if governments are going to meet their climate and energy ambitions,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director, who is launching the report today at the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting hosted by Japan. “We have experienced false starts before with hydrogen, so we can’t take success for granted. But this time, we are seeing exciting progress in making hydrogen cleaner, more affordable and more available for use across different sectors of the economy. Governments need to take rapid actions to lower the barriers that are holding low-carbon hydrogen back from faster growth, which will be important if the world is to have a chance of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.”

Hydrogen is light, storable and energy-dense, and its use as a fuel produces no direct emissions of pollutants or greenhouse gases. The main obstacle to the extensive use of low-carbon hydrogen is the cost of producing it. This requires either large amounts of electricity to produce it from water, or the use of carbon capture technologies if the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. Almost all hydrogen produced today comes from fossil fuels without carbon capture, resulting in close to 900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the combined CO2 emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

Investments and focused policies are needed to close the price gap between low-carbon hydrogen and emissions-intensive hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. Depending on the prices of natural gas and renewable electricity, producing hydrogen from renewables can cost between 2 and 7 times as much as producing it from natural gas without carbon capture. But with technological advances and economies of scale, the cost of making hydrogen with solar PV electricity can become competitive with hydrogen made with natural gas, as set out in the IEA’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050.

Global capacity of electrolysers, which produce hydrogen from water using electricity, doubled over the last five years, with about 350 projects currently under development and another 40 projects in early stages of development. Should all these projects be realised, global hydrogen supply from electrolysers – which creates zero emissions provided the electricity used is clean – would reach 8 million tonnes by 2030. This is a huge increase from today’s level of less than 50 000 tonnes – but remains well below the 80 million tonnes required in 2030 in the IEA pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

Practically all hydrogen use in 2020 was for refining and industrial applications. Hydrogen can be used in many more applications than those common today, the report highlights. Hydrogen has important potential uses in sectors where emissions are particularly challenging to reduce, such as chemicals, steel, long-haul trucking, shipping and aviation.

The broader issue is that policy action so far focuses on the production of low-carbon hydrogen while the necessary corresponding steps that are required to build demand in new applications is limited. Enabling greater use of hydrogen in industry and transport will require much stronger policy measures to foster the construction of the necessary storage, transmission and charging facilities.

Countries with hydrogen strategies have committed at least USD 37 billion to the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies, and the private sector has announced additional investment of USD 300 billion. But putting the hydrogen sector on path consistent with global net zero emissions by 2050 requires USD 1 200 billion of investment between now and 2030, the IEA estimates.

The Global Hydrogen Review lays out a series of recommendations for near term-action beyond just mobilising investment in research, production and infrastructure. It highlights that governments could stimulate demand and reduce price differences through carbon pricing, mandates, quotas and hydrogen requirements in public procurement. In addition, international cooperation is needed to establish standards and regulations, and to create global hydrogen markets that could spur demand in countries with limited potential to produce low-carbon hydrogen and create export opportunities for countries with large renewable energy supplies or large CO2 storage potential. 

Continue Reading

Energy News

IRENA and SolarPower Europe Strengthen Coordinated Actions in the Solar Industry

Published

on

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and SolarPower Europe are strengthening their cooperation by signing a partnership agreement.  As a member of the IRENA Coalition for Action since 2014, SolarPower Europe has been actively involved in various IRENA activities promoting the wider and faster uptake of renewable energy, including solar energy.

By leveraging on each other’s strengths, IRENA and SolarPower Europe aim to jointly advance progress towards a cleaner energy future. Signed by IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera and SolarPower Europe’s CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, the agreement will allow both parties to coordinate and support the implementation of measures to scale up solar energy deployment globally and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition.

“Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity generation in many parts of the world and continues to contribute to the largest gains in renewable energy capacity globally. We need to leverage this momentum by maximising the sector’s potential through collective actions. Cooperation is key to expedite progress in realising IRENA’s 1.5°C scenario. By entering this agreement with SolarPower Europe, we hope to tap into the strengths and visions of multiple solar energy players, in particular from the private sector,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached almost 714 GW in 2020 globally, amounting to an increase of 20% from the previous year, and proving its competitiveness and resilience. Solar PV jobs reached 3.8 million in 2019 worldwide, representing almost a third of all renewable energy jobs. In the urban context, rooftop solar PV is a practical solution to increase access to affordable and reliable electricity for residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings, while also decarbonising the power systems. In many countries, solar PV continues to play a key role to achieve access to 100% electricity in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and broader climate objectives.

“As the cheapest and most easily deployed clean energy technology today, solar can significantly contribute to SDG 7, which aims to ensure energy for all by 2030. Globally, solar energy is continuing to break installation records, and is on track to reach Terawatt scale by 2022,” Walburga Hemetsberger, Chief Executive Officer of SolarPower Europe said. “With 70 per cent of current global power still generated from non-renewable polluting energy, we need much more ambition from policymakers to accelerate the clean energy transition. We look forward to working with IRENA to scale up global solar energy installation, which will help us meet the Paris Agreement targets.”

With this agreement, IRENA and SolarPower Europe will be able to exchange knowledge, data and information in an effort to support and strengthen domestic supply chains and investments in solar energy development. The two organisations will also collaborate to track and analyse latest trends in the private sector, including costs and innovations, as well as the socio-economic benefits of solar energy, to inform the policy decision-making process.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Energy1 hour ago

Gas doom hanging over Ukraine

The long history of gas transit across independent Ukraine began with Kiev’s initial failure to pay anything for Russian natural...

erdogan erdogan
Middle East5 hours ago

Safar Barlek of the 21st Century: Erdogan the New Caliph

Since the American’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, it became clear that everyone is holding his breath. That is exactly what Recep...

Africa9 hours ago

Analyzing The American Hybrid War on Ethiopia

Ethiopia has come under unprecedented pressure from the U.S. ever since it commenced a military operation in its northern Tigray...

Intelligence11 hours ago

Women Maoists (Naxalbari)

Every now and then, Indian newspapers flash news about Maoist insurgents, including women being killed. They usually avoid mentioning how...

forest forest
Environment13 hours ago

Greenpeace Africa reacts to DRC President’s decision to suspend illegal logging concessions

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, ordered on Friday, October 15th, the suspension of all...

Reports15 hours ago

Are we on track to meet the SDG9 industry-related targets by 2030?

A new report published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Statistical Indicators of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization, looks...

New Social Compact17 hours ago

Eurasian Forum: Empowering Women in the Changing World

Women play an increasingly important role in resolving issues that society and the state encounter and in the modern world,...

Trending