IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched in Berlin, shows that ways to meet 86 per cent of global power demand with renewable energy exist. Electricity would cover half of the global final energy mix and the global power supply would more than double over this period, with the bulk of it generated from renewable energy, mostly solar panels and wind.
An accelerated energy transition in line with the Roadmap would also save the global economy up to $160trillion over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times.
"“The race to secure a climate safe future has entered a decisive phase,” said Francesco La Camera, the new Director-General at IRENA. “Renewable energy is the most effective and readily-available solution for reversing the trend of rising CO2 emissions. A combination of renewable energy with a deeper electrification can achieve 75 per cent of the energy-related emission reduction needed.”
“The shift towards renewables makes economic sense,” said La Camera. “By mid-century, the global economy would be larger, and jobs created in the energy sector would boost global employment by 0.2 per cent. Policies to promote a just, fair and inclusive transition could maximise the benefits for different countries, regions and communities. This would also accelerate the achievement of affordable and universal energy access. The global energy transformation goes beyond a transformation of the energy sector. It is a transformation of our economies and societies.”
IRENA’s roadmap recommends that national policy should focus on zero-carbon long-term strategies. It also highlights the need to boost and harness systemic innovation. This includes fostering smarter energy systems through digitalisation as well as the coupling of end-use sectors, particularly heating and cooling and transport, via greater electrification, promoting decentralisation and designing flexible power grids.
“The energy transformation is gaining momentum, but it must accelerate even faster,” said La Camera. “The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the review of national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement are milestones for raising the level of ambition. Urgent action on