Solutions for a renewable-powered future: Global experts to gather in September for innovation event

From 5 to 7 September, over 250 policy makers and business leaders will gather in Bonn for the second Innovation Week held by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The event features world-class speakers examining key global energy and climate questions.

© by IRENA

In the two years since the first IRENA Innovation Week, costs for renewable energy have kept falling, to the extent that many commercially available renewable power generation technologies will be competitive with fossil fuels by 2020.

Together with improved energy efficiency, renewables can provide over nine-tenths of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions needed in the energy sector to deliver on the Paris climate agreement, which would limit the rise in average global temperatures to “well below 2°C”.

In parallel with less costly renewables, we are witnessing transformative changes in the way energy systems are operated, driven by trends such as the growing digitalisation, the increased decentralisation of electricity supply, the need for system flexibility, and the increased use of electricity for transportation and heating.

However, renewables have to be scaled up at least six times faster for the world to meet its decarbonisation and climate mitigation goals. That was a key conclusion of Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, a recent report from IRENA.

The intergovernmental agency, dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide, has its Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn.

The transformation in the ways the world generates electricity is well underway. Yet the challenge now is to build on the potential of low-cost renewables, ensuring that all countries can reliably integrate high shares of solar, wind and other clean, renewable energy into their power systems.

This requires intensifying the development, trialling and deployment of innovation approaches in order to keep cutting costs, to make further technological breakthroughs and to support new business models that can accelerate deployment. At the governmental level, policy makers need to refresh their priorities for innovation support in order to better address new challenges.

IRENA Innovation Week 2018 promises a solutions-focused gathering of leading innovators, companies and policy makers from countries spanning IRENA’s worldwide membership. Participants will explore the potential of emerging innovations in the power sector, focusing on key areas such as system digitalisation, decentralisation and demand-based electrification.

This is a by-invitation event. For more information see http://innovationweek.irena.org.