Transformation to Renewable Energy: How to get there

October 22, 2015
Editor @17Goals

IRENA_PST_Age_of_Renewable_Power_2015-COVERAre you interested in energy? SDG 7 calls for “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” And that includes, say the targets, increasing “substantially” the amount of renewable energy in that mix by 2030. (Many would prefer the language to say, “as much as possible,” or even, “with an aim to achieve a renewable energy-powered world by 2050,” but politics is the art of compromise.)

Now the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, has published a comprehensive guide on how to accelerate the transformation to renewable energy. This guide is aimed chiefly at national-level policy makers, but decision makers on energy at all levels, as well as students of energy, or anyone interested in the topic, will find this an extremely useful resource.

There is a wealth of up-to-date information here about how much renewable energy is currently produced, but more importantly, how to increase that. You have to be willing to enter into the geeky world of energy policy, and become comfortable with acronyms such as “VRE” (Variable Renewable Energy, such as wind and solar), and “CEM” (Clean Energy Ministerial, an international meeting forum for energy ministers).

But it looks more complicated than it actually is. IRENA reviewed all the studies and saw a pattern. Basically, (1) there are a lot of ways to build more “VRE” into the electricity grids of this world, (2) you have to do it in different ways based on the local situation, and (3) that means you need to get a lot of stakeholders involved.

And while “get a lot of stakeholders involved” is Conclusion #3, IRENA has put it as “Step 1” in any roadmap for accelerating a transition to renewables.

And guess what? You are a stakeholder.

You might even be a decision-maker, or a facilitator. But when it comes to pushing our utility and energy systems over to renewable energy, we all have a “stake” — and that means a role to play, as well as a stake in the outcome.

Achieving all the other SDGs is going to take energy, and we need as much of that energy to be renewable as fast as possible. This new IRENA guide will help you play your part, and show others the way.

Goal 7/Publication

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