IRENA ‘rethinks’ energy

REthinking Energy 2017 (Photo: IRENA)

Falling costs, driven by innovation in technology and policy, is spurring renewable energy deployment and bringing multitude of socioeconomic benefits, according to the new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The publication titled ‘REthinking Energy 2017’ provides insights on the innovations, policy and finance driving further investment in sustainable energy system.

As this third edition of the report highlights, the global investment in renewables has steadily grown for more than a decade, rising from less than $50 billion in 2004 to a record $305 billion in 2015.

The report has also found that renewable energy auctions are gaining popularity in developed and developing countries with at least 67 countries that had held renewable energy auctions by the end of 2016, compared to only six in 2005.

Furthermore, the demand for battery storage is increasing rapidly and playing a larger part in integrating variable renewables, and the new capital-market instruments are helping increase available finance by offering new groups of investors access to investment opportunities, the report states.

Also, according to the report, institutional investors are moving into renewable energy as it offers stable returns over the long term, while new business models promise new ways to finance renewable energy.

Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s General Director, said: “Renewables are gaining ground by nearly every measure. As we advance deeper into a new energy paradigm, we need to pick-up the pace of our decarbonisation efforts. Policies and regulations continue to remain crucial to this end and to develop the renewables market.

“We are seeing more and more countries hold auctions to deploy renewables, and as variable and distributed sources of renewables take-on a greater role, regulators have implemented changes to enable grid integration at scale.”

The publication states that solar PV will grow the fastest in terms of capacity and output, and new ways to store electricity will be a game changer for growing variable renewable energy generation.

IRENA estimates that battery storage for electricity could increase from less than 1GW today to 250GW by 2030.

REthinking Energy also describes how off-grid solutions can provide modern energy access to hundreds of millions of more people and achieve development goals.

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