The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has urged countries to increase renewable energy in the global energy mix to save money and avoid climate catastrophe.
In a report titled ‘REmap 2030’, IRNEA said that increasing renewable energy to 36% of the global energy consumption by 2030 will avoid climate catastrophe.
Increasing renewable energy could maintain the world on a trajectory consistent with a CO2 level of 450ppm, a widely accepted threshold to limit global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
IRENA in New York director-general Adnan Amin said the central policy question is: What energy sources do we want to invest in?
Amin said, "Our data shows that renewable energy can help avert catastrophic climate change and save the world money, if all costs are considered.
"In answering this question, ‘REmap 2030’ makes a clear case for renewables. It shows the transition is affordable based on existing technologies, and that the benefits go well beyond the positive climate impact. Countries today face a clear choice for a sustainable energy future."
The global expansion of renewable energy investment costs is offset by savings of up to $740bn per year on costs associated with fossil fuel pollution, the report details.
Additionally, higher use of renewable energy will reduce the global demand for oil and gas by approximately 15% and for coal by 26% and reduce energy-related pollution and adverse health effects while increasing energy security for countries dependent on energy imports.
IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre director Dolf Gielen said, "IRENA recommends focusing on five key areas: planning realistic but ambitious transition pathways; creating enabling business environments; managing knowledge of technology options and their deployment; ensuring smooth integration of renewables into the existing infrastructure; and unleashing innovation."