Deployment Of Renewable Energy Must Be Expanded To Developing Nations: Report 

By Outlook Planet Desk March 31, 2023

The volume and extent of the energy shift, notes the IRENA report, are far below the 1.5°C pathway

Deployment Of Renewable Energy Must Be Expanded To Developing Nations: Report 
35 trillion USD in investments are required by 2030 for a successful energy transition. PTI

The biggest message that comes out of the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023 Preview is that the global energy transition is off-track, aggravated by the effects of global crises. “Achieving the necessary course correction in the energy transition will require bold, transformative measures that reflect the urgency of the present situation. Current pledges and plans fall well short of IRENA’s 1.5°C pathway and will result in an emissions gap of 16 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2050,” states the IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency in its report titled World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023. 

IRENA has only released a preview of the report and will launch the complete report later this year. The upcoming 2023 edition will contribute to the first Global Stocktake that concludes at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates and will offer practical suggestions for quickening the pace of progress over the following five years approaching 2030.

The preview demonstrates how far short of the 1.5°C pathway the scale and depth of change are. Progress has been made, especially in the power industry, where renewable energy sources account for 40 per cent of installed power generation globally and will add an incredible 83 per cent of new electricity to the world in 2022.

However, deployment levels must increase by an average of 1,000 GW per year from today's 3,000 gigawatts (GW) to over 10,000 GW in 2030 in order to maintain 1.5°C. Moreover, deployment is restricted to specific geographic regions. Two-thirds of all additions last year were made by China, the European Union, and the United States, further lagging developing countries. “Although large-scale deployments of renewable energy are typically associated with countries that have well-developed power systems, it is essential to expand deployment elsewhere, especially in developing nations that lack access to electricity,” notes the report. 

IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera says, “The stakes could not be higher. A profound and systemic transformation of the global energy system must occur in under 30 years, underscoring the need for a new approach to accelerate the energy transition. Pursuing fossil fuels and sectoral mitigation measures is necessary but insufficient to shift to an energy system fit for the dominance of renewables.”

According to the report, 35 trillion USD in investments are required by 2030 for a successful energy transition. Despite a record-breaking USD 1.3 trillion in worldwide investments in energy transition technologies in 2022, annual spending in these technologies must more than double to USD 5 trillion in order to maintain the 1.5°C route. By 2030, total investments must reach USD 44 trillion, of which USD 35 trillion, or 80%, will go towards transition technologies, which emphasise flexibility, efficiency, electrification, and grid expansion.

If completely implemented, national determined contributions (NDCs), long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDs), and net-zero targets could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 2022 levels by 6 per cent by 2030 and 56 per cent by 2050. The majority of climate commitments, however, have not yet been translated into comprehensive national strategies and plans, put into place through laws and regulations, or adequately financed.

The report suggests the need for policymakers to achieve a correct balance between reactionary measures and proactive energy transition initiatives in order build a more resilient, inclusive, and climate-safe system. Inefficient and wasteful energy production and use, overdependence on a small number of fuel exporters, and a failure to account for environmental costs are just a few of the fundamental causes of the current issues. Several of these can be decreased or eliminated with the use of renewable energy. The degree of energy security, as well as the economic and social resilience at the national level, will therefore depend on how quickly the transformation occurs. 

“More can be done in the short term. While the energy transition undoubtedly requires time, there is significant potential to implement many of the available technology options today. Upward trends in the deployment of these solutions demonstrate that the technical and economic case is sound. However, comprehensive policies are needed across all sectors to ramp up deployment, as well as to instigate the systemic and structural overhaul required to realise climate and development objectives.”