IRENA: Energy transition and decarbonization push economic growth and competitiveness

3/20/17, 1:55 PM -

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) pointed out the economic opportunities of global energy and climate protection this morning at the start of the "Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue".

Renewables and solar power brings economic benefits, IRENA says.
Henning Wuester (IRENA), Bertrand Piccard (Solar Impulse), Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes (BEE) and David Wedepohl (BSW-Solar) (from right) at the press conference on the third International Energiewende Conference this morning at the German Foreign Office in Berlin

Six million new jobs can be created worldwide by switching to a climate-friendly economy by 2050, according to Henning Wuester, director at International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The global economic growth can be increased by 0.8 per cent. This figure also takes account of the lack of jobs and revenues for conventional energy sources, Wuester underlined in a press conference at the beginning of the conference. According to IRENA, energy efficiency plays an important role in the increase in value added through more climate protection.

A total of 29 billion US dollars is needed to achieve decarbonization by 2050. This corresponds to 0.4 percent of global economic output. "But we have to tackle the increased transition to decarbonisation fast," says Wuester. Otherwise, lost investments, so-called "stranded investments", were threatening on a large scale, whether in the case of power plants, in the building and transport sectors or in industry.

More political leadership needed

"We need more courage and political leadership at Energiewende," emphasized Prof. Bertrand Piccard, CEO of Solar Impulse. Last year the Swiss pioneer was the first person to circle the earth with a solar aircraft. In the case of innovations, it was a question of solving behavioral patterns and ideas, Piccard underlined. He is confident that the economic benefits of more renewable energies and energy efficiency will be widespread throughout the world, despite a climate-sensitive course of the Trump government.

Opportunities for new business models

Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes from the Federal Association for Renewable Energies (BEE) also showed the continuation of the Energiewende in Germany and referred to new business models and further sinking costs of renewable energies. He reckoned that a new federal government would present a concrete exit plan for the coal in the coming parliamentary term, Hinrichs-Rahlwes said.

"We have to count on investment cycles," stressed Federal Minister of Economics Brigitte Zypries at the official conference opening. This also includes the "right investment incentives in sustainable technologies. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are the new investment standards, ", underlined Zypries.

Ministers, economic delegations and representatives of non-governmental organizations from a total of 93 countries will participate until tomorrow evening at the third international energy conference of the Federal Government in the Federal Foreign Office. (HCN)

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