28 July 2018 2018 02:54 PM GMT

IRENA: Clean Energy Deployment, Core To Sustainable Development Goals

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has highlighted the central contribution renewables make to sustainable development and the substantial, cross-sectoral socioeconomic benefits of energy transformation during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting took place from July 9-18. at UN headquarters in New York.

Under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’, the meeting reviewed the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. IRENA underscored the importance of accelerating renewable energy deployment to realize SDG 7 as well as a number of other key goals, including health (SDG 3), jobs and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13) among others.

“Renewables are transforming the global energy system at a rapid pace and moving us towards a new age of energy,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, who moderated the official SDG 7 review session during the HLPF on 10th July. “This shift promises to not only support our long-term climate objectives but it also contributes to the realisation of a number of other key development goals.”

IRENA’s 2050 analysis has found that renewable energy and energy efficiency combined could achieve 90 per cent of the energy-related emission reductions needed to achieve the well-below 2°C target of the Paris Climate Agreement. Accelerated renewables deployment could also boost global GDP by 1 per cent and welfare by 15 per cent compared to business-as-usual, and by 2050 renewables could account for nearly 29 million jobs, up from 10.3 million today. A significant proportion of these benefits are achievable by 2030.

“Renewable energy is supporting economic growth, creating jobs and improving health and welfare, in addition, mitigating climate change and delivering energy access,” continued Mr. Amin. “The energy transformation’s multifaceted benefits can be realised if we put renewables at the heart of global efforts to achieve the SDGs and we accelerate the speed of their adoption.”

Globally, more than one billion people today still live without access to electricity – a challenge that off-grid renewable energy technology is helping address. Since 2008, off-grid renewable energy capacity has witnessed a spectacular three-fold increase from under 2 GW to over 6.5 GW in 2017. Currently, up to 133 million people are estimated to be served by off-grid renewables.

Capturing these trends, IRENA has launched a consolidated renewable energy off-grid report entitled ‘Off-grid Renewable Energy for Electricity Access: Status and Trends’. The report will deliver a comprehensive picture of off-grid renewable energy technologies and adoption, harmonizing national and regional level data from around the world.

IRENA’s core activities during HLPF and more details of IRENA’s activities can be found here.

October 16th 2018
InnoEnergy, Deloitte: Smog Reduction Can Save European Citizens €183bn By 2025

InnoEnergy and Deloitte’s radical new research reveals that EU citizens could save €183bn by adopting innovative smog-reduction technologies to 2025. This is in response to the European Commission’s finding that smog will cost the EU an astonishing €475bn between 2018 and 2025. The report identifies best technologies to reduce Europe’s 400,000 pollution-related premature deaths a year. These key technologies include fast, interconnected and interoperable car charging solutions, solar thermal, and underground energy storage.

September 29th 2018
IRENA: Innovation Front and Centre, As Leaders Shape the Future Energy System

Participants from more than 80 countries explored the disruptive innovations in digitalisation and decentralisation that are transforming energy systems around the world. Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world. In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.

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