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

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    5th Apr, 2022

Context

IRENA launched the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022 at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue.

  • 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.

Analysis

Need to move faster to a clean energy system because of

  • High fossil fuel prices
  • energy security concerns
  • the urgency of climate change

Key findings by the outlook:

  • The Outlook sets out priority areas and actions based on available technologies that must be realized by 2030 to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.
  • It also takes stock of progress across all energy uses to date, clearly showing that the current pace and scale of the renewables-based transition is inadequate.
  • The energy transition is far from being on track and anything short of radical action in the coming years will diminish, even eliminate chances to meet our climate goals.
  • Today, governments are facing multiple challenges of energy security, economic recovery and the affordability of energy bills for households and businesses. Many answers lie in the accelerated transition.
  • But it’s a political choice to put policies in place that comply with Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Agenda.

Need for Investment in Transition- Impact on jobs:

  • Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure will only lock-in uneconomic practices, perpetuate existing risks and increase the threats of climate change.
  • 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.
  • These job gains will largely surpass losses of 12 million jobs in fossil fuel industries.
  • More countries will experience greater benefits on the energy transition path than under business as usual.

IRENA(International Renewable Energy Agency):

  • It is an intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • It is the first international organization to focus exclusively on renewable energy, addressing needs in both industrialized and developing countries.
  • It was founded in 2009 & its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010 and is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
  • IRENA is an official United Nations observer.

Key driver for transition:

  • 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.
  • Notably electromobility is seen as driver of energy transition progress, growing the sales of electric vehicles (EV) to a global EV fleet 20 times bigger than today.

Way ahead:

  • 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.

conclusion

  • Increasing ambition in the National Determined Contributions and national energy plans under the Glasgow Climate Pact must provide certainty and guide investment strategies in line with 1.5°C.
  • Particularly the world’s largest energy consumers and carbon emitters from the G20 and G7 must show leadership and implement ambitious plans and investments domestically and abroad. Climate finance, knowledge transfer and assistance will have to increase for an inclusive and equal world.

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