‘Renewables could save US$4.2 trillion’ – IRENA
The cost of doubling the share of renewable energy in the global mix to 36 percent by 2030 could be as much as US$770 billion a year, but could save the global economy up to US$4.2 trillion annually, according to officials at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Renewable energy investments and capacity additions reached record levels in 2015,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre. “But this is just a start. IRENA analysis shows we must double current levels of investment–to an average of US$770 billion per year between now and 2030–to reach a 36 percent share of renewable energy by 2030.” These are not the only finances that will be required, according to Gielen, who said that “the average additional investment needs [within the renewable energy sector] are estimated at around US$100 billion due to avoided investments along with fossil fuel supply chains.” “The point has come where renewables are [much] cheaper than fossil and nuclear in many situations,” he continued. His remarks came in response to the launch of the second edition of the organisation’s annual
REmap: Roadmap for A Renewable Energy Future Report
, earlier this month. In addition to financial benefits, the report states that investing in green energy could create 24.4 million jobs in the sector; boost global GDP by US$1.3 trillion, and reduce air pollution enough to save the lives of 4 million people every year. The report has received widespread praise from civil society organisations since its release, including representatives of the Climate Action Network International, a global community of almost 1,000 non-governmental organisations tacking climate change in 110 countries. Among those to comment on the report was Anna Leidreiter, Senior Programme Manager Climate Energy at the World Future Council, who said its findings “show that deploying renewable energy actually means boosting economic development”, and that “in leveraging the necessary investment, governments can learn from hundreds of jurisdictions across the world that are moving towards 100 percent renewable energy” through projects like the Global 100% RE initiative. “The major driver for renewable energy is a policy framework that allows new stakeholders to enter the market, invest in renewable energy, and share its socio-economic benefits,” she added.
By Adam Pitt
Photo: IRENA?