Since 2005 the number of countries with renewable energy targets has quadrupled, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The findings demonstrate that clean energy targets are now a defining feature of the global energy landscape.
The report finds that 164 countries have now adopted at least one type of renewable energy target, compared to just 43 in 2003. Additionally, both Canada and the United Arab Emirates have set renewable targets at the sub-national level. The majority of commitments focus on the electricity sector but other sectors, such as renewable transport targets and goals for the heating/cooling sector, are on the rise.
IRENA director general Adnan Z Amin said, “Renewable energy targets have emerged as a popular mechanism to set national and regional economies on the path towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
“They provide an important signal to the industry and can help to align stakeholders by creating a clearer, common vision for the development of the energy sector.”
He continued that by adopting renewable energy targets governments ill able to meet multiple objectives, including improving energy security, environmental sustainability and socio-economic benefits.
“The rapid growth of targets is just one more signal of the world’s ongoing shift towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels,” Amin added.
Changing the global energy mix to make it cleaner also presents challenges, such as storing the energy generated from renewables to ensure the system is as efficient as possible. In a separate report, IRENA estimates that in order to avoid the worst affects of climate change the share of renewables in the electricity sector must double to 45% by 2030.
In order to achieve this, the organisation estimates that 150 GW of battery storage and 325 GW of pumped-storage hydro electricity will be needed.
Photo: lamoix via Flickr
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