More investments are needed to speed up the transition to renewable energy, IRENA says

More investments are needed to speed up the transition to renewable energy, IRENA says

The energy sector window of opportunity to meet the Paris agreement pledge is closing. Governments need to accelerate their green energy growth rate to curb global warming. According to a report given by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), clean energy generation and transmission need to increase eightfold from the current rate. “The recent trends show that the gap between where we are and where we should be is not decreasing but widening. We are heading in the wrong direction,” said Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s director-general.

The report noted urgent action needs to be taken to be at par with the electricity demands. With most of the world’s population living in urban areas and the world businesses migrating to online dealings, electricity demands have skyrocketed, and fossil fuels, the primary source of electricity, are not helping with the climate change problem.

IRENA said the world needs to invest approximately$131 trillion in green energy and low carbon technologies by 2050. “We need a drastic acceleration of energy transitions to make a meaningful turnaround. Time will be the most important variable to measure our efforts,” added La Camera.

The findings said that to keep the rising temperatures in check, it will require green sourced electricity to exceed the fossil fuel energy before 2050. As most countries shift to battery-powered transport and electric heating, they must ensure the electricity is from renewables such as wind and solar. Besides, clean energy will be needed in high quantities to generate ‘green hydrogen,’ an alternative for manufacturing companies who relied on coal.

IRENA projects electricity use will make up over fifty percent of all energy consumed by 2050, almost three times the amount used in 2018. Over the past decade, fossil fuels have constituted two-thirds of total energy consumed, but this value will go down to ten percent by mid-century. By 2050, oil use will decline to four percent. Gas use will peak in 2025 and go down to six percent afterward, as coal falls to the lowest point of two percent by mid-century.

Several favorable elements could accelerate the switch to clean energy, according to La Camera. As top carbon emitters like the US and China are pledging to become carbon-neutral by midcentury, financial markets and investors are diverting their attention to renewables and low carbon investments. “Covid-19 has demonstrated the risks in tethering economies to the financial fate of fossil fuels,” he said. “As governments pump huge sums in bailouts and recovery, the investment must support energy transition. It is time to act and countries can lead the way with policies for a climate-safe, prosperous and just energy system fit for the 21st century,” La Camera added.

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