Illustration; Source: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Annual renewable power must triple by 2030, IRENA claims

In the first volume of the World Energy Transitions Outlook (WETO) 2023, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) calls for annual renewable power additions of 1,000 GW by 2030 to keep the 1.5°C climate target within reach.

Illustration; Archive; Courtesy of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

More specifically, IRENA identifies the way forward to immediately course correct the 1.5°C climate pathway and calls for raised global ambition in renewables deployment, enabled by physical infrastructure, policy and regulations and underlining institutional and workforce capabilities.

The WETO 2023: 1.5°C Pathway volume positions electrification and efficiency as key transition drivers, enabled by renewable energy, clean hydrogen and sustainable biomass, and tracks implementation across all energy sectors.

In the report, IRENA pointed out that even though some progress has been made, mainly in the power sector with record additions in the global renewable capacity of 300 GW in 2022, the gap between what has been achieved and what is required continues to grow.

It noted that getting the 1.5° pathway back on track requires addressing the lack of physical infrastructure, the absence of enabling policies and regulations and misalignments in skills and institutional capacity.

The agency said that WETO provides the analyses and the narrative for COP28 and the call by the COP28 President-Designate to build coalitions that deliver end-to-end support across the renewables ecosystem and enables us to triple renewable energy capacity as part of a just energy transition that leaves nobody behind.

“More ambitious renewable energy targets are needed. The world must add an average of 1,000 GW of renewable power capacity annually by 2030, as well as significantly increase the direct use of renewables in end-use sectors,” IRENA said.

IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera stated: “We face the harsh reality that we are not on track to deliver on the Paris Agreement. Our only option is to follow the most promising, science-based pathway, one that puts renewable energy at the center of the solution, while leading countries to energy security, reduced energy costs and forward-looking industrial development.”

“The energy transition must become a strategic tool to foster a more equitable and inclusive world. COP28 and the Global Stocktake must not only confirm our deviation from a 1.5°C pathway but also provide a strategic blueprint to steer us back on track.”

“We risk breaking our promise of a climate-safe world. IRENA’s WETO shows that tripling renewable power capacity until 2030 and beyond will get us back on track.”

The COP28 President-Designate, Sultan al-Jaber, welcomed IRENA’s recommendations, noting: “I have called for a tripling of renewable energy by 2030, which is in line with IRENA’s WETO report… To meet our 2030 targets, we need urgent action to fast-track expansions of grid infrastructure, reduce permitting timelines and reduce the cost of capital in emerging markets and developing economies.”

“I was glad to recently reaffirm a shared commitment with the EU to ensure maximum support among parties at COP28 to triple renewable energy by 2030. The COP28 Presidency also announced this week that Kenya will champion the drive in Africa for tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.”


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