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Disentangling the 2030 global renewable energy target

  • Published
    15th Sep, 2023


At COP28, developing countries should consider the target only if the North commits to equitable absolute targets domestically.

Global Renewable Energy (RE) Targets

  • COP28's Renewable Energy Target: COP28 aims to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, reflecting in the G-20 declaration, but complexities arise.
  • Current Global Renewable Capacity: In 2021, RES had 39% installed capacity but contributed only 28% to total electricity generation, led by hydropower.
  • Tripling Capacity Implications: Achieving 9000 GW RES by 2030, largely from solar and wind, raises feasibility and energy demand questions.

Regional Variations and Energy Demand Growth

  • Diverse Electricity Demand: Electricity demand varies widely among countries, with developing nations like China and India experiencing rapid growth.
  • Impact on Nations: The RE target affects countries differently, with the U.S. and EU needing a smaller share compared to India.
  • Challenges in Equal Distribution: Unequal burden distribution can be challenging for developing nations, requiring significant infrastructure development.

Equity and Accountability in Renewable Energy Targets

  • Origin of Global RE Target: The origin of COP28's global RE target is uncertain but likely influenced by IRENA's report, reflecting the outlined inequitable scenario.
  • Issues with Absolute Projections: Absolute capacity projections disconnected from energy demand growth pose challenges. Relative targets are considered safer. Resource allocation for grids and climate finance remains problematic.
  • Lack of Domestic Targets: Leading proponents like the U.S. and EU lack absolute domestic targets, relying on market signals. Developing nations should consider the target only if developed countries commit to equitable domestic targets.
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