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World must double investment in renewable energy to meet climate target

By Hugh Wilson

Renewables growth needs to quadruple to stay within 1.5C warming target

More than $10trn (£7.7trn, €8.9trn) of investment in fossil fuels will have to be redirected towards energy transformation projects by 2030 if the world is to meet its 1.5C climate target.

In a statement released ahead of its annual assembly in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) added that meeting the target would require a four-fold increase in the speed of renewables growth.

The Agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around $330bn today to close to $750bn in 10 years.

That would result in renewables supplying 57 per cent of global power by 2030, up from 26 per cent today, IRENA said. Installed capacity from renewables would increase from 2.4TW today to 7.7TW by the end of the decade, the majority from solar and onshore and offshore wind.

At the same time, meeting the 1.5C target would require a 20 per cent fall in fossil fuel power generation during the same period.

“We have entered the decade of renewable energy action, a period in which the energy system will transform at unparalleled speed,” said IRENA director general Francesco La Camera. “To ensure this happens, we must urgently address the need for stronger enabling policies and a significant increase in investment over the next 10 years.”

IRENA calculates that savings made from investing in renewables, including minimising losses caused by climate change, would amount to between $1.6trn and $3.7trn annually by 2030: “three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation.”

FURTHER READING: Scottish wind farm leads Amazon drive for renewable energy

FURTHER READING: Climate change to wipe 3 per cent from global economy by 2050

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