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Energy Transition: The Start of a Decade of Action

By The Maritime Executive 01-12-2020 02:50:44

The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance a pathway to climate safety, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

Renewable electricity should supply 57 percent of global power by the end of the decade, up from 26 percent today.

The Agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around $330 billion today, to close to $750 billion to deploy renewable energy at the speed required. Much of the needed investment can be met by redirecting planned fossil fuel investment. Close to $10 trillion of non-renewables related energy investments are planned to 2030, risking stranded assets and increasing the likelihood of exceeding the world’s 1.5 degree carbon budget this decade.

Additional investments bring significant external cost savings, including minimizing significant losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction. Savings could amount to between $1.6 trillion and $3.7 trillion annually by 2030, three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation.

IRENA estimates that jobs in renewables could reach 40 million by 2050 under a climate-safe energy scenario. 

A new booklet 10 Years: Progress to Action, published for the 10th annual Assembly of IRENA which began in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, charts recent global advances and outlines the measures still needed to scale up renewables. 

“We have entered the decade of renewable energy action, a period in which the energy system will transform at unparalleled speed,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “To ensure this happens, we must urgently address the need for stronger enabling policies and a significant increase in investment over the next 10 years. Renewables hold the key to sustainable development and should be central to energy and economic planning all over the world.”

The Assembly has drawn more than 1,500 decision makers from 150 countries. 

IRENA says it represents a curtain-raiser to a decade in which the world must achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations and adopt a climate safe energy path. Renewable energy is recognized as playing a central role in the achievement of several goals including energy access (SDG 7), climate safety (SDG 13), sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) and sustainable cities (SDG 11). 

The booklet 10 Years: Progress to Action can be downloaded here