In a recent report released by the IRENA, emphasis is placed on quality assurance and the crucial role it plays in achieving a robust photovoltaic market and confidence from investors, policy makers and consumers. IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, said: "This forum supports policy-makers and industry across Latin America to implement the quality assurance instruments needed for the successful deployment of PV technology."
China, blighted by pollution and long known for churning out cheap manufactured goods, is looking to dominate the high-end of a major growth market. Under a new program, China is pushing the industry to mass market high-performance solar cells. World solar power generation capacity has ballooned to around 300 GW from just 1 GW in 2000, according to IRENA.
Despite being one of the lowest-cost and most reliable renewable energy sources, harnessing heat from the Earth almost doesn't happen outside Iceland. But leaders meeting in Italy this week are trying to change that. IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, called this week's Florence Declaration "a milestone that, in the strongest possible terms."
Wind power is one of the fastest growing investments among other sources of renewable energy. Although oil remains the world's leading source of one-third of the world's energy, followed by coal and natural gas that provides a quarter, the growth rate of reliance on renewable sources over the past 10 years indicate a global trend towards cleaner energy sources.
Increasing renewable energy deployment could save the (Indian) economy twelve times more than its costs by the year 2030, creating jobs, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and ensuring cleaner air and water, with savings on health-related costs. Renewable energy technologies would lower the demand for coal and oil products between 17 per cent and 23 per cent by 2030, IRENA said.
The first geothermal energy plant in South America is in Cerro Pabellón, Chile, 14,760 feet above sea level, surrounded by volcanoes. With the ability to power roughly 165,000 homes, the new plant is yet another step in Chile’s clean energy transformation. Investment in renewable energy in Latin America has increased 11-fold since 2004, nearly double the global rate, according to a 2016 report by IRENA. Chile, Mexico and Brazil are now among the top 10 renewable energy markets in the world.
On Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, a short drive from the country’s capital, a team of scientists and engineers is pursuing what they see as an energy source of the future. To unlock it, they have drilled down toward the center of the Earth, through layers of soil and rock, stopping just short of a chamber of molten magma more than 15,000 feet below the surface, a scalding pocket so hot that it would melt a lead pipe. They aim to use that heat to power the energy-hungry world — or at least part of it. Geothermal energy provided less than 1% of the world’s electricity in 2014. IRENA says that number should grow fivefold by 2030, but even that would still leave much of the world’s geothermal resources untapped.
Acting on the climate remains firmly on the global agenda. It remained a top priority for all but one of the G20 leaders who gathered in Germany this month. That is because it is increasingly clear that strong action is in the economic self-interest of countries at all stages of development. National governments, states, cities and businesses are all seeing the opportunities of climate action, from employment to investment and from smarter growth to a cleaner, healthier future for all. Take jobs, where climate action could generate a veritable bounty of clean energy employment. Globally, 62 per cent of renewable energy jobs are already in Asia, with 3.6m jobs in China alone, according to IRENA.
To help meet 20% of its energy needs from clean energy by 2030, China is betting big on renewable energy. It pledged in January to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in renewable power generation — solar, wind, hydro and nuclear — by 2020. The investment will create about 10 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration projects. China currently boasts 3.5 million jobs in clean energy, by far the most in the world, according to IRENA.
G20 leaders are meeting in Hamburg at a time when the world has embarked on a major global energy transition which is gaining momentum every year. In this context, IRENA’s new study titled Perspectives for the energy transition: Investment needs for a low-carbon energy system finds that a decarbonisation of the energy sector by 2050, is both technically feasible and economically attractive.
As world leaders prepare to convene in Hamburg, Germany later this week for the annual G20 summit, it is clear that climate is set to be a key issue. IRENA estimates that the growing clean energy sector employed 8.1 million people worldwide in 2015, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.
Ahead of the G20 meeting which starts in Hamburg at the end of this week, IRENA has published a report showing that clean energy could achieve 90% of the energy-related CO emission reductions required to meet the central goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. IRENA says that further technological breakthroughs and new business models are needed to fulfil this potential.
According IRENA, one out of every five units of energy delivered to consumers now comes from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, or you could say that 20 percent of our energy is derived from renewables. And globally, big companies, technology businesses, and Institutions are already banking on renewables. Adman Amin, the director general of IRENA points out that a big boost has come from the private sector.
The renewable energy industry employed an estimated 9.8 million people worldwide in 2016, an increase of 1.1 percent on 2015, according to IRENA. With 3.09 million jobs, solar led the way, followed by liquid biofuels (1.7 million) and hydropower (1.5 million). China had a total of 3.6 million jobs in renewable energy last year while the U.S. had 777,000, according to IRENA.
Last year it was American IT firms such as Amazon and Google that led the way. They use clean energy to power their vast banks of servers. More recently, enthusiasm is extending beyond tech firms to energy-intensive industries, including manufacturers. At a conference in Beijing on June 7th, IRENA, a global body, launched a survey of firms to find out how better to promote corporate PPAs in such places.
Investors are increasingly excited about the prospects for much faster growth in the solar power industry in Southeast Asia, which has until now been a backwater for renewable energy. They say that the region is in a perfect position to benefit from rapidly declining prices in solar panels. By the end of last year, Southeast Asia had installed solar capacity of over 3 gigawatts, according to data from IRENA.
The world's energy system needs rebuilding. The Paris agreement to keep global warming "well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels" demands that we replace fossil fuels with solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy. A 2016 study by IRENA found that doubling the share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030 would boost global economic growth by more than 1%, and create jobs and taxable income.
IRENA Director- General, Adnan Amin, weighs in on the threat of climate change and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord. Climate change is the systematic threat the global community is facing this century and it will be defining our global environment as well as the pathway we choose to deal with it. 195 countries have signed on to this global momentum and Paris was a unique moment. It encapsulated the global consensus to try to do something collectively about the climate threat we are facing. The US will continue being a leader in renewable energy, 20 states have declared they will meet the Paris targets and companies are already procuring renewables.
Innovations and breakthroughs are happening across the world to progress the clean energy revolution. There are 2.6 million US jobs in solar energy already. In fact, IRENA reported that solar jobs grew 17 times faster than the total US economy in 2016. Overall, renewable energy employment rose by 18 per cent between 2015 and 2016. Let's face it - clean energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and even greenhouse gas removal are here to stay.
IRENA reported that employment in the renewable energy sector, including solar, wind, biofuels, hydropower and other carbon-free resources, rose to 9.8 million people in 2016, a 1.1 percent increase from the previous year. "As the scales continue to tip in favor of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world," Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA's Director-General, said in a statement.