IRENA aims to triple renewables by 2030 with faster growth.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 11, 2024
IRENA: Tripling renewables by 2030 requires higher annual growth rate.jpegOrginal image from:

Renewable energy is on the rise, becoming the fastest-growing source of power globally. However, despite this growth, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warns that the world may fall short of its target to triple renewables by 2030. IRENA’s recent report highlights the need for a higher annual growth rate of at least 16.4% to meet this ambitious goal.

The Current State of Renewables

In 2023, there was a 14% increase in renewables capacity, resulting in a 10% compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2023. This growth has positioned renewable energy to surpass fossil fuels in global installed power capacity. However, if the current growth rate continues, the world may miss the target of 11.2 TW in 2030 outlined in IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario by 1.5 TW.

If the growth rate remains at 10%, only 7.5 TW of renewables capacity will be accumulated by 2030, falling short of the target by almost one-third. Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s Director-General, emphasizes the need for renewables to grow at a faster pace to align with global climate goals.

Challenges and Solutions

IRENA highlights the importance of concrete policy actions and significant financial mobilization to achieve the tripling renewables target. The agency emphasizes the need for collaboration between governments, the private sector, and civil society to accelerate development. Governments are urged to set explicit renewable energy targets, streamline permitting processes, expand grid connections, and incentivize private sector investment.

Sultan Al Jaber, COP28’s President, stresses the urgency of increasing the pace and scale of renewable energy development. He calls for strong national energy targets in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to support the global goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Al Jaber sees climate investment as an opportunity for socio-economic development rather than a burden.

Regional Disparities in Renewables Deployment

IRENA’s data for 2022 reveals regional variations in renewable power generation, with Asia leading at 3,749 Terawatt hours (TWh) followed by North America at 1,493 TWh. South America experienced a significant increase in renewable power generation, driven by hydropower and solar energy. Africa, despite its vast potential, saw modest growth in renewable power generation.

Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa

IRENA is advancing the Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) initiative to promote renewable energy development in the region. An investment forum focused on APRA member countries is planned for later in 2024 to drive further progress in Africa’s renewable energy sector.

Overall, meeting the goal of tripling renewables by 2030 requires a concerted effort from governments, businesses, and civil society. By prioritizing renewable energy growth, countries can work towards a sustainable future and combat climate change effectively.

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