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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENERGY

The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Adnan Amin: Renewable energy sources to improve the overall welfare of humanity

“Renewables must account for at least two-thirds of total energy to achieve the goals of deep decarbonization and address the global warming by 2050,” considers Adnan Amin, member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He discussed the issue of climate change due to hydrocarbon emissions and other human-induced disturbance at a special panel session within the World Future Energy Summit 2019 (WFES) in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

The global trend of transition to renewable energy resources and enhancing of the energy efficiency is gaining momentum. In 2017, the share of electricity produced by RES accounted for 25% of the world total amount.  For the first time in history, the volume of renewable power plants has exceeded the amount of traditional generation that was commissioned. Since 2010, the average cost of electricity, which was generated by solar stations fell by 73% and by 22%, which was generated by wind stations.

According to the report “Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050”, initiated by IRENA, the rates of renewable energy need to be scaled up at least six times faster for the world to meet the decarbonization and climate mitigation goals set out in the Paris Agreement. According to Adnan Amin, this measure will contribute to limit average global temperature rise within two degrees Celsius as well as ensure the reduction of CO2 emissions, produced by the energy sector, up to 90%.

In his speech, the expert considered the process of the global energy transition. “The ongoing transition to renewables is not only just a shift from one set of fossil fuels to another. It involves a much deeper transformation of the world’s energy system that will have major social, economic and politic implications, which go well beyond the energy sector. The term “energy transition” captures this broader implication,” stressed Adnan Amin. 

The global energy transformation will support positive social and economic outcomes all over the world, lifting millions out of energy poverty and stimulating sustainable job growth. “Today renewable energy technologies are viewed not only as tools for improving energy security, mitigating, and adapting to climate change but are also increasingly recognized as investments that can provide direct and indirect economic advantages,” said Adnan Amin. According to the IRENA’s report, increasing of the energy system investment by 30% to 2050 in favour of renewable energy can create 11 million additional energy sector jobs. Costs of solar PV and wind continue to fall. Solar PV costs are expected to halve again by 2020. In 2050, natural gas is the largest source of fossil fuel. In such case, the global economy would grow by 1% and global welfare, including benefits not captured by GDP, such as health benefits from reduced air pollution and reduced climate impacts, among others, would improve by 15%, compared to the current trajectory.

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