Off-grid renewables could solve the global power deficit

Off-grid renewables could solve the global power deficit

By Energía16

08/07/2018

Off-grid renewables can solve the problem of access to electricity faced by over a billion people on the planet, according to the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Adnan Z. Amin. These statements come ahead of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting will take place at UN headquarters New York from July 9-18.

The official stated that “renewables are transforming the global energy system at rapid pace and moving us towards a new age of energy”. Amin even estimates that this evolution promises to not only back long-term climate goals, but also contribute to the development of other key targets, according to a report published by IRENA.

The publication stresses that since 2008, off-grid renewables have undergone a significant change, tripling from less than 2 GW to over 6.5 GW in 2017. Currently, estimates indicate that up to 133 million people will receive off-grid renewable services.

Capturing these trends, IRENA will launch a comprehensive report on off-grid renewables. The report is titled ‘Off-grid Renewable Energy for Electricity Access: Status and Trends’. It will deliver a comprehensive picture of off-grid renewable energy technologies and adoption, harmonizing national and regional level data from around the world.

IRENA estimates that off-grid renewables have a positive impact

IRENA’s 2050 analysis concludes that renewable energy and energy efficiency combined could achieve 90 percent of the energy-related emissions reductions necessary to reach the under 2°C target set in the Paris Accord.

The organization highlights that accelerated renewables deployment could also boost global GDP by 1 percent and welfare by 15 percent compared to business-as-usual. Meanwhile, by 2050 renewables could account for nearly 29 million jobs, up from 10.3 million today. A significant proportion of these benefits are achievable by 2030.

“Renewable energy is supporting economic growth, creating jobs and improving health and welfare, in addition mitigating climate change and delivering energy access,” continued Mr. Amin.

“The energy transformation’s multifaceted benefits can be realized if we put renewables at the heart of global efforts to achieve the SDGs and we accelerate the speed of their adoption.”

Tasks to complete

To IRENA, this forum will be essential to highlight the role of renewables, especially when it comes to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Discussions at the forum will include the implementation of ODS for 2030, including ODS 7 on energy.

Under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’, the meeting will review the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.

IRENA will underscore the importance of accelerating renewable energy deployment to realize SDG 7 as well as a number of other key goals, including health (SDG 3), jobs and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13) among others.

In the meantime, the climate organization will stress the renewable contribution to sustainable development, as well as the substantial socio-economic and cross-sectorial benefits of energy transformation.

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