Renewables are the world’s best economic and technological option

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reinforced the call to action from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global temperature increase and avert catastrophic climate change in a statement issued today. The transition to a sustainable global energy mix must be accelerated, the Agency said. Consequently and in order to reduce global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40-70 percent compared with 2010 by 2050. Renewable energy, IRENA highlights, is the economically viable and technologically proven option to keep CO2 levels below the widely accepted threshold of 450 parts per million (ppm).

IRENA's Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, urged the international community to fast-track renewable energy in the fight against climate change at the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai
IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, urged the international community to fast-track renewable energy in the fight against climate change at a World Green Economy Summit in Dubai

“The latest report by the IPCC reconfirms that averting catastrophic climate change is possible if we act now. But we need to act decisively. Renewable energy, in combination with energy efficiency, provides the most affordable and technologically mature path to bring about the necessary change,” Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, said at the opening of the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai. “The accelerated deployment of renewable energy significantly reduces energy-related carbon dioxide emissions at a reasonable cost, and also provides other benefits, including enhanced energy security, more local jobs and value-creation, and a cleaner and healthier environment.”

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With an average concentration of CO2  in the atmosphere of 398 ppm at the beginning of 2014. So renewable energy provides a path to lower energy-related COemissions. It will help prevent a buildup of atmospheric CO2 beyond 450ppm. That’s the widely accepted threshold to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. As a result and above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

Based on the world’s current path, annual global energy-related COemissions will rise from 30 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2010 to 41.4 Gt in 2030, according to IRENA estimates. The IRENA global roadmap for a transition to a sustainable energy future, “REmap 2030,” shows that renewable energy can reduce emissions by 8.6 Gt. That’s to an estimated 32.8 Gt in 2030. Based on numbers from the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency can yield an additional 7.3 Gt reduction. Thereby resulting in global energy-related CO2 emissions of 25.5 Gt by 2030. In addition to improvements in energy efficiency, this path would include a quadrupling. Yes, folks, and consequently, all of the share of modern renewable energy sources. All in the global energy mix by 2030.

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In conclusion, the renewable energy transition has positive socio-economic impacts. Investments in renewable energy will create an additional 11 million jobs. Most noteworthy, and that’s globally by 2030. All to reduce the dependence on imported energy. Therefore, accounting already for around half of all new additions to power generation capacity worldwide. So renewable technologies are the most economical solution for new capacity. All in an increasing number of countries and regions. Renewable energy has entered into a virtuous circle of falling costs. So finally, we need increased deployment and accelerated technological progress.

Source: International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Abu Dhabi, UAE, 15 April 2014