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.