Renewable energy to play key role in post-COVID-19 economic recovery: IRENA

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has advocated that significant investment in renewables up to 2050 could support the short-term recovery of the global economy from COVID-19 (coronavirus) while meeting long-term climate goals.

In its first ever Global Renewables Outlook, IRENA said a pathway to deeper decarbonisation requires total energy investment up to US$130 trillion, but that the socio-economic gains of such an investment would be massive.

The report found that transforming the energy system could boost cumulative global GDP gains above business-as-usual by $98 trillion between now and 2050 and it would nearly quadruple renewable energy jobs to 42 million.

“Governments are facing a difficult task of bringing the health emergency under control while introducing major stimulus and recovery measures. The crisis has exposed deeply embedded vulnerabilities of the current system,” said IRENA’s director-general Francesco La Camera.

“IRENA’s Outlook shows the ways to build more sustainable, equitable and resilient economies by aligning short-term recovery efforts with the medium-and long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.”

The Outlook examines investment strategies and policy frameworks needed to manage the transition and explores ways to cut global CO2 emissions by at least 70% by 2050. It also offers a path to net-zero and zero emissions building on five technologies, chiefly green hydrogen and extended end-use electrification.