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‘Renewables must grow four times faster to ensure sustainable future’.

Report • Nikolay Chavdarov •
‘Renewables must grow four times faster to ensure sustainable future’.

The share of renewables in the global energy mix must more than double by 2030 for the world to advance the energy transition and achieve sustainable development goals, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Renewable electricity should supply 57% of global power by the end of the decade, up from 26% today. At the start of what has been billed as a ‘decade of action’, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has issued another call for a sustainable future. Stressing fossil fuel investment must be redirected, IRENA said annual renewable energy investment needs to more than double, from around $330 billion today to near $750 billion, to deploy renewable energy at the rate required. The 10 Years: Progress to Action study published for IRENA’s 10th annual assembly charts recent advances and outlines the measures still needed to scale up renewables. The Abu Dhabi-based agency says the world needs to double the share of renewables in the global energy mix over the next decade to achieve energy transition objectives. 

Renewables must account for 57% of generation, said IRENA, renewable electricity must account for 29% of final energy consumption and fossil-fuel use must decline 20%. Much of the investment needed could be met by redirecting fossil fuel funds. IRENA calculates almost $10 trillion of non-renewables energy investment is planned to 2030, risking stranded assets and increasing the likelihood of exceeding the world’s sub-1.5 degrees Celsius carbon budget this decade. By comparison, the world invested $3 trillion in renewables in the last 10 years. Renewables have already become the world’s main source of new power generation, as illustrated by the graph below. However, IRENA underlined renewables can also become the most competitive source of power by 2030. 

With 2.84 TW of solar generation capacity expected to have been installed in 2030, IRENA forecasts solar electricity prices of $34-40/MWh. Onshore wind costs are expected to be in the $30-40/MWh range with 2,015 GW of capacity installed worldwide at the end of the decade. The two energy sources would then account for a third of global power needs. IRENA also repeated its claim the global energy transition could be an employment bonanza. By 2030, there could be 30 million renewable energy jobs, including 11.7 million solar opportunities, up from 4.4 million last year.

The full report of IRENA you could find out here