ees 2019
11 November 2018 2018 12:55 PM GMT

IRENA: Innovation Front and Centre, As Leaders Shape the Future Energy System

Leading companies, startups and policymakers recently convened at the second edition of IRENA Innovation Week in Bonn to explore the ground-breaking innovations that are driving the global energy transformation.

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.

Innovation is key to ensuring that all countries can benefit from low-cost renewable power and reliably integrate high shares in their power systems at a time when significant acceleration of renewable energy deployment is needed if the world is going to achieve the Paris Agreement target and meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Renewable energy coupled with technological innovation are changing the way that energy is produced, distributed and consumed. The new global energy paradigm that is emerging is more sustainable and has greater socioeconomic benefits for an unprecedented number of people”, said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. Innovation Week brought “leaders from diverse fields together to share their vision for the energy sector of the future, and is a crucible for the innovative ideas that are moving the energy transformation forward.”

More than 400 corporate leaders, government officials and experts at the forefront of energy system innovation discussed, debated and dissected the disruptive technologies, business practices and policies that are driving the energy revolution. Thought leaders from the China State Grid Corporation, ENGIE, GE, NREL, IBM, Masdar, the German Energy Agency, Statnett, Toyota, Schneider Electric, ENEL, governments and regulators and many others explored how digitalization, decentralization and end-use electrification are changing the way that we produce, trade and consume power. A senior-level public-private roundtable explored the transformative impacts of innovation in the energy system, and emerging startups demonstrated their work in an innovation showcase.

See the full plenary session recordings of the event.

Follow discussions online via #IRENAinnovation

May 30th 2019
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

May 30th 2019
EU Approves Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals, Encourages Clean Energy Feed-In

Europeans will now be entitled to consume, store and sell the renewable energy they produce in line with ambitious targets set by the EU. The targets are to be reviewed by 2023, and can only be raised, not lowered. By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, member states will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty. Member states must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production.

March 24th 2019
Clean Energy: Most Competitive Source of New Power Generation in the Middle East

Renewable energy is the most competitive form of power generation in GCC countries, according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It says that achieving stated 2030 targets brings significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220 000 new jobs whilst saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors. Furthermore, the power sector’s CO2 emissions can be reduced by 136 million tonnes (22%), while water withdrawals in the power sector can be cut by 11.5 trillion litres (17% reduction) in 2020.

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