IRENA: Global Renewable Energy Share Can Reach and Exceed 30% by 2030 at No Extra Cost

The global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30% by 2030 at no extra cost, a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) yesterday concludes.

“REmap 2030” maps out a pathway for doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix based on the technologies that are available today. Energy efficiency and improved energy access are key, as they can advance the share of renewables in the global energy mix up to 36 per cent, according to the new report.

To reach the goal of doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030, additional efforts were needed, particularly in the building, industry and transport sectors,” Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany said. He pointed out that IRENA had identified five areas of national action: “Planning realistic but ambitious transition pathways; creating an enabling business environment; managing knowledge of technology options and their deployment; ensuring smooth integration of renewables into the existing infrastructure; and unleashing innovation.”

The study comes at a time when Germany is struggling with the surging costs for its ambitious energy policy shift away from nuclear power towards a mainly renewable energy supply and planning a reform of its renewables law (EEG). At the same time, the EU is debating if and what goal to set beyond the 2020 goal of a 20% share of renewables and how to reform the ailing price mechanism of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) that fails to provide sufficient incentives for investing in renewables.

A rethinking of energy taxes and subsidies was critical to the economic case for renewable energy, IRENA says, arguing that a reduction of fossil fuel subsidies would facilitate the uptake of renewables. Subsidies for renewable energy could disappear altogether, if green house gas emissions and other air pollution were reasonably priced, the agency concludes.

Source: IRENA

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11 Responses to “IRENA: Global Renewable Energy Share Can Reach and Exceed 30% by 2030 at No Extra Cost”

  • ‘At no extra cost’ – I can find no reference to this clause in the material you have presented.

    In fact the suggestions are far from that.

    Can you provide details of where it claims that no extra cost is required?

  • Irena’s claim is about as entertaining as Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich. I suppose it was 20% by 2020 and it shall be 40% by 2040, 50% by 2050 etc.

  • Matt,

    IRENA in its press release (quoted as source below the post) says “The global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30 per cent by 2030 at no extra cost, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says in a report, “REmap 2030,” that was published today.”

    On page 22 of their summary report on REmap 2030 they say “IRENA found that the average additional cost of substitution under the REmap Options was only USD 2.5 per GJ. The average annual incremental cost between 2010 and 2030 is USD 93 billion worldwide, just 2% more than in the Reference Case. However, adding in the value of reduced CO2 emissions, even assuming moderate costs for these emissions, means that the REmap Options do not cost 2%, but reduce total system costs by 2% (saving around USD 70 billion per year). To 2030, renewables are at least as important as energy efficiency in CO2 reduction potential terms, and their importance will only grow after 2030.” The report is available at

    Hope this helps.

  • Interesting that hydropower seems to be as big a source of electricity as wind and solar combined.

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