“Renewables are gaining ground by nearly every measure. Accelerating the pace of the energy transition and expanding its scope beyond the power sector will not only reduce carbon emissions, it will improve lives, create jobs, achieve development goals, and ensure a cleaner and more prosperous future,” said Adnan Amin, Director-General of IRENA at the seventh Assembly this week with 75 energy ministers.
Global investment in renewables has steadily grown for more than a decade, rising from less than $50bn in 2004 to $305bn in 2015. Demand for battery storage is increasing rapidly and playing a larger part in integrating variable renewables and new business models promise new ways to finance renewable energy.
The report sees solar PV growing fastest in terms of capacity and output, and new ways to store electricity will be key for growing variable renewable energy generation. IRENA estimates that Off-grid renewables provide electricity to an estimated 90 million people worldwide, and enable people to climb the energy ladder.
The cost of PV energy will fall to 5 cents per kWh by 2025, while the storage market will increase ten fold to over $13bn by 2020.
“Achieving universal electricity access by 2030, will require us to boost global power generation — nearly 60 per cent of that will have to come from stand-alone and mini-grid solutions,” said Amin. “Meeting this aim with off-grid renewables depends on the right combination of policies, financing, technology and institutional capacity. Making needed changes and accelerating deployment will allow countries to address global issues in sustainability, education, gender equality, health, water and food.”