Energy featured prominently at COP23 with the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Action Energy Day. Discussions on this day revolved around the energy transition and how to meet the Paris goals through decarbonization of electricity and energy systems in general.
The Sustainable Energy for All campaign forecasted how, “Energy Day at COP23 will tell the story of the ongoing energy transformation, showcase success stories, take stock of commitments made, and offer recommendations on the way forward.”
More than 300 delegates also attended Renewable Energy Day: Action on Climate and Accelerating Energy System Transformation organized by the International Renewable Energy agency (IRENA).
Sustainable Energy for All brings forth four main initiatives universally considered the success stories of the energy sector thus far:
- Three years flat carbon emissions
- Reduced demand for coal
“Renewable Energy has been the largest majority in terms of capacity addition to the global power sector the last three or four years in a row.” -Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA
- Drop in solar, wind and battery prices
“[In just a few years] we could have PV cells that are ¼ the cost of what we are using today.” -Alexey Tarasov, Lomonsav Moscow State University
- Increase in design and deployment of electric vehicles
One area that needs to be addressed further is how to build out energy efficiency measures in all end-use sectors of electricity, but especially in uses where emissions are difficult to decrease.
Sustainable Energy for All identified several courses of action needed:
- build an evidence base and necessary actions as they relate to renewable energy
- achieve greater efficiency in energy systems
- create more connections between power and transport.
Several panelists presented how the discussion on power is basically over, renewable energy is becoming more and more accessible, building a business case for its use over coal and natural gas as it goes. Many countries are recognizing the need of renewable or sustainable energy usage as a means for reaching the Paris Agreement.
It is no longer a question of what do we need to do about energy, now the focus needs to shift to how will we make this transition, and how can we make it faster.
In the GCA Media Briefing on Energy, Water and Agriculture, Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, discussed how technology, such as battery storage, will play a key role in the future of sustainable energy and its ability to be transported and made widely available.
Some positives in this discussion included:
- Energy technology is commonly seen as an investment.
- Furthering this scenario of investment can lead to more research and development of technological energy solutions.
- The last key piece to assisting this transition is a better policy framework surrounding renewable and other sustainable energy alternatives.
Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, welcomed delegates to the Renewable Energy Day events with this opening statement,
“Renewable energy is good for climate and good for growth, which is the key message that we are bringing to this climate change conference.”
As more and more countries realize the importance and benefits of renewable energy, they are willing to jump on board and help out however they can. This participation could lead to the breakthrough needed to make renewable energy systems readily available for all.
Some countries are already on board as noted in this statement by Sandy Pitcher, the Governor of South Australia, about the solar transition and especially renewable energy access or households,
“We are looking to go as fast as we can because we know its what our communities want.”
Energy Day at COP23 was the perfect opportunity for many different associations, countries and other researchers/activists involved in the energy scene to share ideas of how to make the transition to sustainable and renewable as quick and effective as possible.
Interested in learning more? Check out these COP23 panels!