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Reports on Renewables in Africa, Cost-Competitiveness of Renewable Energy, and 2030 Roadmap Released during IRENA Assembly

IRENA14 January 2013: At the third session of the IRENA Assembly, which took place from 13-14 January 2013, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), IRENA released new publications on the future of renewable energy in Africa and the increasing cost-competitiveness of renewable energy, and launched a global roadmap to doubling the share of renewable energy to 30% by the year 2030.

IRENA's roadmap on renewable energy, titled REMAP 2030, will draw on a global network of experts and policy-makers to identify policies and actions required to close the gap between current renewable energy projects and the 2030 targets set by the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL) of: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Preliminary results indicate that achieving these targets will require 150 gigawatts (GW) per year of new renewable power generation, compared with just 110 GW per year in 2011. According to REMAP 2030, this will rely on substantial new investments in renewable power generation, grid expansions, sustainable biomass, and heating from renewable energy.

IRENA's report titled “Africa's Renewable Future: The Path to Sustainable Growth” finds that renewable energy from solar and hydropower, along with smaller amounts of energy from biomass, wind, geothermal and marine sources, could supply the continent with enough energy to meet the majority of its future energy needs, while at the same time sustaining high levels of economic growth. Speaking about the report, IRENA Director-General, Adnan Amin, said “Africa is undergoing a transformation, and has an unparalleled opportunity to use renewable energy to promote growth and improve millions of lives across the continent,” adding that “It's an exciting moment, and IRENA is ready to play its role in assisting Africa on its path to a renewable energy future.”

In another report presented at the Assembly, IRENA indicated that renewable energy is increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The report, titled “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012: An Overview,” analyzed 8000 medium- to large-scale renewable power generation projects to produce the most comprehensive analysis of the costs and performance of renewable power to date. Findings include: renewables now account for almost half of new installments in electricity capacity; a continued fall of installations costs; significant differences in installed capital costs between technologies and regions; and an expected increase in the share of operation and maintenance costs relative to equipment costs. [IRENA News Release on Africa's Renewable Future] [Publication: Africa's Renewable Future] [IRENA News Release on Renewable Power Generation Costs 2012] [Publication: Renewable Power Generation Costs 2012] [IRENA News Release on REMAP 2030]