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

August 16th 2019
Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Growing, Taking Place in 75 Countries

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

August 14th 2019
Wind: China Maintains Emerging Markets Top Spot Following 19.7GW Build Boom

Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.

August 12th 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.

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