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30th March 2022 (6 Topics)

Energy transition holds key to tackle global energy and climate crisis: IRENA


World Energy Transitions Outlook outlines priority actions till 2030 to keep 1.5°C alive; calls on governments to fast-track energy transition for more energy security, resilience and affordable energy for all.


Towards the 2050 goal

  • IRENA’s 1.5°C pathway positions electrification and efficiency as key drivers of the energy transition, enabled by renewables, hydrogen, and sustainable biomass.
  • This pathway, which requires a massive change in how societies produce and consume energy, would result in a cut of nearly 37 gigatonnes of annual CO2 emissions by 2050.
  • These reductions can be achieved through
    1. significant increases in generation and direct uses of renewables-based electricity;
    2. substantial improvements in energy efficiency;
    3. the electrification of end-use sectors (e.g. electric vehicles and heat pumps);
    4. clean hydrogen and its derivatives;
    5. bioenergy coupled with carbon capture and storage; and
    6. last-mile use of carbon capture and storage

Key Highlights of the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022:

  • The recent pledges made by countries at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow and in their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are welcome but they are still not ambitious enough to achieve climate goals.
    • There is an estimated gap of 20 Gt between the updated NDCs and other pledges made around COP26 (e.g. related to net zero emissions and cutting methane), and the efforts required to realise the 1.5°C climate goal by 2050.
  • The Outlook sees investment needs of $5.7 trillion per year until 2030 including the imperative to redirect $0.7 trillion annually away from fossil fuels to avoid stranded assets.
    • But investing in the transition will bring concrete socioeconomic and welfare benefits, adding 85 million jobs worldwide in renewables and other transition-related technologies between today and 2030.
  • Renewables will have to scale-up massively across all sectors from 14 per cent of total energy today to around 40 per cent in 2030.
  • Global annual additions of renewable power will triple by 2030 as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    • At the same time, coal power will have to resolutely be replaced, fossil fuel assets phased out and infrastructure upgraded.
  • The Outlook sees electrification and efficiency as key drivers of the energy transition, enabled by renewables, hydrogen, and sustainable biomass.
  • End-use decarbonisation will take centre-stage with many solutions available through electrification, green hydrogen, and the direct use of renewables.


  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation
  • Mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • It is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energy, addressing needs in both industrialised and developing countries.
  • It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010.
  • The agency is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
  • IRENA is an official United Nations observer.
  • Aims:
    • IRENA aims to become the main driving force in promoting a transition towards the use of renewable energy on a global scale.
    • Acting as the global voice for renewable energies, IRENA will provide practical advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, help them improve their regulatory frameworks and build capacity.
    • The agency will facilitate access to all relevant information including reliable data on the potential of renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms and state-of-the-art technological expertise.
    • IRENA provides advice and support to governments on renewable energy policy, capacity building, and technology transfer.
    • IRENA will also co-ordinate with existing renewable energy organizations, such as REN21.

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