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Friday, March 24, 2023

Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked renewable energy boom, world leaders say in Abu Dhabi

Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked renewable energy boom, world leaders say in Abu Dhabi

Frans Timmermans just spoke at the International Renewable Energy Conference
The General Assembly of the Atomic Energy Agency (IRENA) said the two most significant events in his long life were the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – an attempt by an authoritarian regime to take over a peaceful, democratic country. But the war has backfired on Russia, forcing much of the world to speed up the transition to green energy and reduce energy consumption.

It’s a positive step towards remediating climate change – a central theme of the Abu Dhabi meeting. Indeed, renewable energy and rainforest management are the surest ways to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

“We are accelerating the development of renewable energy and diversifying our energy supply because Putin has turned energy into a weapon,” said Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission. “Our energy sovereignty does not lie in fossil fuels. , but in renewable energy. The transition is happening faster than ever.”

But is it fast enough? Europe’s Green New Deal aims to halve the continent’s greenhouse gases by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – an agreement reached in 2019. Meanwhile, the US wants to be carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2021, 295,000 MW of new renewable energy generation capacity will be added globally, with a further 320,000 MW to be added in 2022. However, global use of green energy must triple by 2030, providing millions of jobs – especially in developing countries. At the same time, fossil fuels account for 75 percent of all anthropogenic emissions and roughly 80 percent of all energy use.

Russia will lose market share, but fossil fuels do not evaporate. Still, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has signaled to Big Oil that it needs to diversify — exploring wind and solar power for the long term, and developing battery storage and carbon capture.

Every country in the world has signed up to the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius
By mid-century compared to pre-industrial levels. Failure to do so will accelerate sea-level rise, exacerbate floods and droughts, and jeopardize food and water security.Scientists say we are now close 1.2 degreesalthough the risk depends on geography.

“By moving slowly, we are putting ourselves at greater risk and risk jeopardizing the most exciting economic transition yet,” John Kerry, the US President’s climate envoy, said on the sidelines of the IRENA conference. If we deploy renewable energy as much as possible , we can achieve the 2030 goal. “

The 138 countries that emit less than 1 percent of their annual carbon dioxide emissions are at the mercy of 20 countries that account for 80 percent of those emissions, he added. “We need to help countries that cannot do it themselves. This is the biggest challenge the planet has ever faced. There is a 100% chance that climate change will do more damage.”

Will renewable energy dampen or boost economic growth?

Wind and solar prices have fallen by double digits since 2020, IRENA said. That’s why around 80% of installed capacity over the past four years came from renewable sources. But we need to triple our investment in renewable energy—from the current 260 GW to more than 800 GW by 2030. This will require an investment of $5.7 trillion.

“Fossil fuel prices are very high, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Sovalene, Prime Minister of Tonga, a Polynesian kingdom of more than 170 South Pacific islands. “We want to move away from this and achieve 70% renewable energy by 2025 – only possible through partnerships with the private sector. Climate change is an existential threat to our Pacific region. For us, it is a A matter of survival. We (eventually) need 100% renewable energy.”

But will the energy transition dampen or boost economic growth? Change takes time and no one can be left behind. The task now is to democratize electricity and keep the lights on—and that will require major advances in energy technology: battery storage and green hydrogen, to name two. “Unless we address the ’24/7′ problem, we will not be able to achieve the energy transition,” said Shri Raj Kumar Singh, India’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

According to IRENA research, tripling the share of renewable energy would increase global gross domestic product by 2.4%. The 85 million new jobs associated with the green energy economy will dwarf the 16 million job losses associated with the old economy. Simultaneously, White House Office of Management and Budget Recent studies have found that climate change could reduce the country’s economic output by 10 percent and force the government to spend between $25 billion and $128 billion a year on disaster relief.

What is our responsibility to the next generation?

Clean energy is undoubtedly the new economic frontier and the catalyst for decarbonization in the 21st century. That is the view of Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Germany.

Solar and wind are the cheapest sources of energy per kilowatt-hour, he told reporters. But while they create more jobs and provide energy to remote areas, they need help in the larger political, financial and regulatory arena. Some countries generate 70 to 90 percent of their energy from renewable sources. “So the only variable is leadership.”

Take India, where 8 years ago considered renewable energy untenable: Today, however, the country plans to generate 450,000 megawatts of green energy by 2030. Meanwhile, renewable energy accounts for 90% of Kenya’s electricity consumption.

Uruguay, which generates 98 percent of its electricity from green sources, has issued a $1.5 billion green bond – conditional on protecting the rainforest and meeting clean energy goals. If so, the interest rate paid will drop. at the same time, Brazil is at a crossroads: Its economy depends on Petrobras’ oil development, but its indigenous people live near the Amazon rainforest, which is also the lungs of the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“The temptation is to say we’re going to mine (fossil fuel development) for as long as possible,” Steiner said. “But there is no doubt that we are moving towards a decarbonized world. This is a transition. We are not asking for a shutdown tomorrow.”

The United Arab Emirates – host of COP28 in November 2023 – is a good example. Two decades ago, the oil-producing nation embraced and diversified into a new energy economy. In 2009, oil accounted for 85% of its economy. Today it is 30%, focused on green energy, which will create 200,000 new jobs between 2025 and 2050.United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
It is also investing $50 billion in green technology on six continents.

Climate Change and Environment Minister Miriam bint Mohammed Saeed Haren Almheiri told reporters her country supported an “ambitious and pragmatic” “just energy transition”, adding that “climate action is not a cost to bear, but an opportunity to seize”

The political, economic and environmental spheres are in conflict, so the transition to renewable energy must be accelerated – a transition that will bring jobs, prosperity and energy security.

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