IRENA partnership to hasten solar energy deployment in Europe

SolarPower Europe
Image credit: 123rf.com

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and SolarPowerEurope have strengthened their collaboration on renewable energy deployment in Europe and globally.

As part of a MoU signed between the two, IRENA and SolarPowerEurope will reinforce their partnership to encourage wider and faster uptake of solar energy. The aim is to help the bloc achieve its energy decarbonisation and climate mitigation goals.

Although the deployment of solar energy has increased massively over the past years, the progress is not enough to deliver energy transition and climate goals set under policies including Fit for 55, the Green Deal, Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, according to a statement.

Globally, some 714GW of solar capacity was deployed in 2020, a 20% increase from 2019 levels, and the market accounted for a third of the 3.8 million jobs worldwide within the renewable energy sector by 2019.

IRENA and SolarPower Europe say they believe solar energy has a wider role to play in helping address energy poverty and in ensuring consumers are provided with reliable and affordable electricity.

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According to Faith Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, green energy including solar and wind energy could help Europe to address its current energy market challenge which is characterised by increases in electricity prices due to shortages of natural gas.

SolarPower Europe, which has been a member of the IRENA Coalition for Action since 2014, and IRENA, will enhance their collaboration on knowledge, data and information sharing to support and strengthen domestic supply chains and investments in solar energy development.

Due to the pandemic, the global supply chain for solar has been greatly disrupted. The US solar market recorded an increase in prices across all solar energy market segments for the first time in seven years, according to Wood Mackenzie and the US Solar Energy Industries Association.

Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, said: “Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity generation in many parts of the world and continues to contribute to the largest gains in renewable energy capacity globally.

“We need to leverage this momentum by maximising the sector’s potential through collective actions. Cooperation is key to expedite progress in realising IRENA’s 1.5°C scenario. By entering this agreement with SolarPower Europe, we hope to tap into the strengths and visions of multiple solar energy players, in particular from the private sector.”

Francesco La Camera is one of the speakers at Enlit Europe 2021 in Milan. La Camera will discuss developments within the renewable energy sector, what has been achieved, and what still needs to be done to ensure a successful energy transition.

Register for Enlit Europe

Walburga Hemetsberger, Chief Executive Officer of SolarPower Europe, added: “…solar can significantly contribute to SDG 7, which aims to ensure energy for all by 2030. Globally, solar energy is continuing to break installation records, and is on track to reach Terawatt scale by 2022.

“With 70 per cent of current global power still generated from non-renewable polluting energy, we need much more ambition from policymakers to accelerate the clean energy transition. We look forward to working with IRENA to scale up global solar energy installation, which will help us meet the Paris Agreement targets.”

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