Written By: Natalie Baer
Energy efficiency and removal of clean-energy subsidies could help double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix at almost no extra net cost, reveals a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Released yesterday at the World Clean Energy Summit, in Abu Dhabi, the report, entitled REMap 2030, outlines a path that could double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix based on technologies that are available today.
The report, put together by IRENA, is the first of its kind to evaluate global renewable-energy potential based on official government reports. Incorporating data from 26 countries, the REmap projects 74% of global energy consumption in 2030.
“REmap 2030 is an invitation to countries to forge the renewable-energy future most appropriate to their circumstances, informed by the most comprehensive and transparent data available”, says Adnan Amin, IRENA’s Director-General.
He adds, “Renewable energy is not an option. It is a necessity. [The] REmap offers a pathway to make it happen.”
The implementation of a high tax on greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution, coupled with improved energy-efficiency measures, could result in subsidies for renewable energy being completely phased out, says the report. The report states that the national prices of fossil fuels were lower in most countries with high clean-energy subsidies, making the fossil-fuel industry a preferred market.
To increase the use of clean energy, IRENA also recommends improved access to financing and the development of smart grids to manage renewable-energy power over large regions. City governments also need to establish clear goals for renewable-energy implementation. Failure to do so could see the world increase its renewable-energy share from the current 18% to only 21%. By following IRENA’s recommendations, however, this percentage could increase to over 36%.
“There is a strong economic case for the renewable-energy transition. When considering climate change mitigation, health impact, and job creation, the transition practically pays for itself”, says Amin. “More renewables in the energy system provide greater flexibility, increase energy independence, and make the system more resilient.”