Big Steps Necessary to Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment – Renewable Energy Community is ready to Deliver
Held in parallel with the UN Climate Change Conference COP23, the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase GRESS demonstrated that a full renewable energy supply is possible. GRESS was set up as an event by the global renewable energy community for the COP23 delegates. The event has contributed to bridging the gap between decision-makers in the sphere of climate change and the renewable energy community which is ready to provide the solutions that are needed for effective climate change mitigation. Close to 300 climate change and renewable energy experts attended GRESS during the two days.
A GRESS highlight was the presentation of a Global 100% Renewable Energy Power Scenario by the Energy Watch Group which showed that a 100% renewable power supply is achievable well before the year 2050, and well below the cost of a business as usual scenario.
Peter Rae, WWEA President:
“A broad cross section of experts spoke at this two day event which demonstrated that 100% Renewable Energy is achievable using present technologies and by methods which are in train – particularly storage. We are delighted that Professor Christian Breyer from Lappeenrata University in Finland reported on behalf of a team which has completed a major research study of the nations of the world – the finding is 100% RE is achievable by 2050, and will create increased employment at a sustainable cost. Several speakers introduced new technological improvements in existing R.E. technologies, for example an integrated pump storage in wind turbine providing both smoothing and back up for what is recognised as otherwise intermittent generation.”
Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, Board Member of the German Renewable Energy Federation BEE and Vice President of the European Renewable Energy Federation EREF:
“To meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement the global energy transition needs to be significantly accelerated and increased. Germany and other Member States, but also the entire European Union need to revitalize their proactive role in the global energy transition. Through policy changes in recent years, however, Germany has slowed down the growth of renewable energy in the power sector instead of accelerating it. And it has never overcome insufficient growth and stagnation in the transport and heating & cooling sectors. The next federal government will have to tackle these challenges and accelerate Germany’s transition towards a renewables based energy system.
“At the same time, several Member States and the European Union as whole are lacking ambition and performance. The present greenhouse gas reduction pathways are not in line with the Paris Agreement, and at the same time the proposed 2030 targets for a renewable energy share and an efficiency increase of at least 27% each are hardly more than business as usual. We call upon the EU Member States to agree on a renewables-target of at least 45% by 2030 for the Union and for binding national targets for each Member State. And we insist that – in the absence of an enabling market design, ambitious targets and a reliable policy framework – investors’ confidence needs to be re-established by making markets and policy frameworks fit for the energy transition towards 100% renewable energy. The sooner this is done, the better for humankind and the planet.”
Richard Taylor, Chief Executive, International Hydropower Association:
“There is no one technology that is the panacea to the challenges posed by climate change. We need all renewables working together in different ways to serve different needs – for power, heat and transport. It isn’t the variability of some renewables that is the problem, it is the variability of some political decisions that compromises investment in the sector. There are alarming signs of a slowdown in the rate of progress, notably in Europe, but there is good progress elsewhere.”
“A shining light is Central America. Costa Rica delivering 99.6% of the country’s power through renewable energy is an inspiration, as is the flourishing regional market through the Central American Electricity Interconnection System.”
Ibrahim Togola, Chairman of the Malifolkecenter Nyetaa:
“It has been extremely important to organize during COP23 our GRESS which is about solutions that the renewable energy community can already offer today. Now the solutions have been demonstrated, in practice in many parts of the world and in form of powerpoint presentations during the GRESS. Now we need to apply and upscale such solutions in Africa and build actual renewable energy power plants. The continent is the main frontier for renewable energy, Africa offers the best conditions to harvest domestic renewable energies and to leapfrog in economic development.”
Stefan Gsänger, WWEA Secretary General and responsible for GRESS:
“The word “GRESS” comes from Latin and means “step” or “move”. This is exactly what we need now: The governments of the world must move fast and take the big decisions to pave the way for a renewable energy future. Governments should in particular re-move barriers which are preventing citizens and communities from investing in renewable energy and from harvesting their local renewable resources. A clear outcome of GRESS is that the renewable energy community, including thousands of companies and millions of citizens around the world, are ready to deliver the solutions that will be necessary for a renewable energy future.”