The REN Alliance, a coalition of five renewable energy associations, joined forces at COP22 in Marrakech to demonstrate how renewable technologies working together can meet energy needs at island, rural, city, national and regional levels.
Among the most significant challenges facing society today is the impacts that global climate change can have on our economies, livelihoods, and lifestyles. The COP21 Agreement coming out of Paris in 2015 calls for all countries to work together towards greenhouse gas reduction commitments that ultimately result in no more than 2 0C, and ideally 1.5 0C warming above preindustrial levels by the end of this century.
This is the goal that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has established to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change. However, the current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) that form a part of this agreement are an important yet insufficient step to be taken by national governments to achieve this goal. A decarbonized energy sector must be achieved within the next few decades in order to meet this climate challenge.
The renewable technologies represented by the REN-Alliance are ready to meet the challenges of the Paris accord, and are already in a position with cost effective and mature technologies to achieve a carbon-free energy system within the necessary time frame called for by the IPCC and as adopted in the Paris agreement to be achieved latest by the year 2050.
Depending on the available renewable resources, we need to combine the positive characteristics of each technology to deliver robust and reliable systems, including renewable storage" – Richard Taylor, CEO, International Hydropower Association
Consequently, the REN-Alliance is accelerating its efforts to promote how the renewable energy technologies represented by the member partners can all work together to contribute to the climate reduction goals set forth by the Paris Agreement.
Through the presentation of case studies and best practices being undertaken by localities, regions, and communities throughout the world, and the promotion of favorable policies, the REN-Alliance is demonstrating that renewables working together can result in a decarbonized energy systems based on a global 100% renewable energy well before the end of this century, leading to the mitigation of the major environmental challenge of our time.
The REN Alliance underlines that a renewable energy supply is not only good for the climate, but offers manifold economic and social benefits, for developing and for industrialized countries alike. Renewable energy technologies are today’s cheapest options when comparing new investment – this has been stated by independent organizations like IRENA. Hence the global transition to a renewable energy future is not any more a financial burden but will enhance economic growth and prosperity in addition to mitigation of climate change.
Stefan Gsänger, secretary general of the World Wind Energy Association, said: “Communities in rural areas especially can benefit tremendously from the global shift towards 100% renewable energy: They may not only cover their own energy needs from local renewable resources, but also become suppliers of urban areas, hence creating new income opportunities for themselves. This will boost rural areas in industrialized and in particular in the so-called developing countries.”
Dr David Renné, president of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), said: “Renewables working together in island settings can achieve complete energy independence and security for these communities by eliminating the need for expensive imported diesel fuel.”
Remigijus Lapinskas, president of the World Bioenergy Association (WBA), said: “Bioenergy enables us to create jobs in rural areas, improve the ecological situation in the cities, strengthen the security of supply, national energy independence and could be developed in the regional level leading to cooperation in science, technology and business.”
Richard Taylor, chief executive of the International Hydropower association, said: “The information presented at today's event demonstrates the power of renewable technologies working together. Depending on the available renewable resources, we need to combine the positive characteristics of each technology to deliver robust and reliable systems, including renewable storage. Governments, investors and lenders need to take a systems approach to increase the rate of progress.”
Marietta Sander, executive director of the International Geothermal Association, said: “The regional geothermal development approach through the African Rift Geothermal Facility, the African Regional Geothermal Association and a regional technical assistance project through UNEP works really well in the East African countries.”
About the REN Alliance
The International Renewable Energy Alliance, or REN-Alliance, was formed in 2004 during the first International Renewable Energy Conference in Bonn, Germany.
The REN-Alliance brings together five renewable industry organizations to promote the use of renewable energy technologies worldwide: the International Hydropower Association, the International Geothermal Association, the International Solar Energy Society, the World Bioenergy Association, and the World Wind Energy Association.
Find out more at www.ren-alliance.org.
The International Hydropower Association will join REN Alliance partner organisations representing different renewable energy technologies to host a side event at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday 14 November.
Since COP21, renewable energies have taken centre stage in the climate change process. This side event, entitled Renewables Working Together: Rural, City, National, Regional and Island Approaches, will analyse key challenges and prospects at five levels of renewable energy deployment. Case studies and best practices demonstrating renewables working together in different contexts will be presented.
You can watch a live stream of the side event here.
The REN Alliance is a coalition of five renewable industry organisations that works towards a world where our energy needs are met primarily by renewable sources. Its mission is to demonstrate how renewables can work together in different local, national and regional contexts to meet the world’s energy needs.
The Alliance includes the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the International Geothermal Association (IGA), and the World Bioenergy Association (WBA).
Speakers at the side event include:
- Stefan Gsaenger, secretary general, World Wind Energy Association
- Remigijus Lapinskas, president, World Bioenergy Association
- Dave Renne, president, International Solar Energy Society
- Marietta Sander, executive director, International Geothermal Association
- Richard Taylor, chief executive, International Hydropower Association
- Gustaf Landahl, head of department planning and environment, City of Stockholm
It follows a side event held in at COP21 in Paris, in December 2015, which discussed how technology solutions are in place for a 100% renewable future. You can read about the outcomes of the previous side event here.
The COP22 side event is on the official renewables track, and will take place on Monday 14 November at 16:45 – 18:15 in room Austral (300).
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will join with the Moroccan national utility, ONEE, to host a side event at COP22 on Thursday 17 November, exploring how hydropower can contribute to achieving Africa’s development goals.
The event, entitled Towards Better Hydro in Africa, will also feature speakers from the African Union Commission, the Government of Guinea and CI-Energies of Côte d’Ivoire.
The total worldwide installed capacity of hydropower is now significant, at 1,211 GW. This is enough low-carbon electricity to supply more than a billion people.
Along with providing storage and flexibility to the increasingly renewable and clean electricity system, hydropower can also contribute to multiple freshwater services, such as flood and drought control. Hydropower can thus contribute to water and energy security in a climate-constrained world.
Hydropower is however significantly underutilised in developing countries, and its benefits are not always well understood or optimised.
Against the backdrop of Agenda 2063 and the establishment of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, this session will bring together key players active in hydropower in Africa.
Discussions will focus on current challenges, successes and how building the right projects in the right place can help achieve ambitious development goals.
Speakers at the side event include:
- H.E Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
- H.E Cheick Taliby Sylla, Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Government of Guinea
- Mr Ali Fassi Fihri, CEO, ONEE, Morocco
- Mr Richard Taylor, CEO, International Hydropower Association
- Mr Amidou Traore, CEO, CI-Energies, Côte d’Ivoire
The side event takes place on Thursday 17 November at 10:30 – 12:00 in the Morocco Pavilion, Blue Zone.
The International Hydropower Association is expanding its knowledge networks initiative to include eight topics identified as the most challenging for the sector.
The knowledge networks bring together professionals throughout IHA’s worldwide membership to share ideas and experiences, discuss new developments and collaborate on a range of key hydropower topics.
Knowledge networks will now operate across the following topics:
- Clean energy systems
- Climate mitigation
- Climate resilience and adaptation
- Project benefits
- Project financing
- Regional development
- Water footprint
The networks are open to anyone who is an employee of an IHA corporate member or an individual member of IHA.
This expansion follows the popularity of existing knowledge networks on the topics of climate resilience and adaptation, and communications. These active networks have been established through a number of networking activities such as webinars, surveys, workshops, reports and briefings in recent months.
The topics for the new networks have been identified through a combination of ongoing sector monitoring, and consultation with industry professionals through IHA's annual issues survey.
Bill Girling, interim director of hydropower development at IHA, said: “We are seeking to harness the success of our established knowledge networks, and broaden our engagement with members to cover the most important topics for the hydropower sector today.
“By working collaboratively with specialists in our membership to identify and share experiences and good practices from many different regional contexts, we hope to unearth solutions to some of the biggest challenges and help the sector to move forward sustainably.”
The Climate Bonds Initiative has launched a Hydropower Technical Working Group to develop criteria for climate-friendly hydropower investment. The International Hydropower Association (IHA) will join representatives of various international NGOs, governments and academic institutes on the working group.
The working group will seek to develop criteria to identify hydropower projects that deliver climate mitigation benefits and/or incorporate adaptation and resilience services.
The aim is to create a screening tool for investors and issuers to assess whether bonds linked to hydropower assets can be consistent with the target of limiting warming to a global average of 2°C, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
Richard Taylor, IHA’s chief executive, said: “Climate change can only be managed once we have developed tools for increasing investment in climate-aligned infrastructure.
“Building on existing guidance and protocols, the Climate Bond Standard is a crucial step forward in this process.
“Specific criteria for the screening of climate-compatible hydropower will be essential for bond issuers and investors to move forward with confidence."
Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, said: “The working group will help ensure the many issues around hydropower are closely examined, relevant science is considered and draft standards draw out specific climate-focused reporting and monitoring requirements for hydropower bonds and fully leverage existing guidance.”
You can find out more about the Hydropower Technical Working Group and who is involved here.