First IRENA Flagship Series Report Charts Transition to Renewables
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The first edition of a new flagship publication series of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) argues that a new power system that is based on renewable energy would enhance energy access and security, create jobs, and safeguard health and the environment globally.

Titled ‘REthinking Energy: Towards a New Power System,' the report argues that new approaches to electricity systems planning and market design, policy frameworks and funding, and training and education are required to "take the energy transformation to the next level."

IRENA8 September 2014: The first edition of a new flagship publication series of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) argues that a new power system that is based on renewable energy would enhance energy access and security, create jobs and safeguard health and the environment globally. Titled ‘REthinking Energy: Towards a New Power System,’ the report argues that new approaches to electricity systems planning and market design, policy frameworks and funding, and training and education are required to “take the energy transformation to the next level.”

The REthinking Energy series will explore the drivers that transform how energy is financed, produced and consumed, and how these changes affect governments, businesses and citizens. Describing the context for the series, Adnan Amin, IRENA Director General, argues “it is no longer a matter of whether but of when a systemic switch to renewable energy takes place – and how well we manage the transition.”

The first report, titled ‘Towards a New Power System,’ explains that “an alignment of economics, demographics, climate change and technology” has triggered a transformation of the global energy system, in which renewable energy is increasingly considered as the solution. Examining this renewable energy transformation from different angles, the report charts: its drivers; the evolution of renewable energy technologies; sources of financing; and broader related benefits. The study also proposes how a renewables-powered energy system could look, and how policy makers can support the transformation.

On technologies, the report highlights that a dramatic change has taken place over the past five years, with renewable energy technologies becoming more robust and efficient, energy storage technologies improving, and prices of solar photovoltaics (PV) falling by 80%. On financing, the study explains that, despite reduced support from governments, private finance is “increasingly ready to step in” owing to growing experience among developers, falling capital costs and tailored products.

On shifting into an energy system powered by renewables, the report notes that a diverse, distributed system is required, in which consumers are also producers and hold more control over how and when they use energy. To support this transition, policymakers should provide investors with stable and predictable policy frameworks, lower levels of fossil fuel subsidies, and a supportive grid infrastructure, including more regional interconnections.

IRENA also extends an invitation to “join the conversation” online with the hashtag #REthinkingEnergy. [IRENA Publication Website] [Publication: REthinking Energy: Towards a New Power System] [Publication Executive Summary] [IRENA on Twitter] [IRENA Press Release]

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