Industry urges policymakers to catch up with technology at COP24


As world leaders and representatives from all industries gather in Katowice, Poland, to discuss how to meet the goals defined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, a range of side-events held by associations are calling for policymakers to catch up with a fast-paced industry.

Today for instance, the World Future Council disclosed that a new Global Renewables Congress (GRC) will be established on Tuesday.

The cross-party platform, which calls for bipartisan work, aims to establish an ongoing dialogue between, and with, legislators for the rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy resources.

The GRC will be chaired by Bärbel Höhn, former MP of the German Bundestag and acting Commissioner for Energy Reform in Africa for the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Only a swift transition to renewable energies can halt climate crisis and save us from its devastating impacts,” said Höhn, adding, “We must deliver renewables at scale. In order to stand a chance of avoiding the catastrophic consequences of climate crisis, renewable energy solutions need to be deployed more widely and rapidly than ever before. The GRC has great potential to advance them on a global level.”

15 recommendations

Meanwhile, on the margins of the COP24 conference last week, the Global Solar Council (GSC) held an event in cooperation with Polish PV association Polskie Towarzystwo Fotowoltaiki, in order to present 15 recommendations for utilizing solar energy for climate protection, secure energy supply, and wealth and job creation.

In a statement released, the GSC referred to a study by the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), which found that the world needs to increase renewable energy generation capacity by 76% in 2030 compared 2014, if it is to fully realize the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) set out in the Paris Agreement. This would be equivalent to 1.3 TW of electricity generation and require an investment volume of over US$1.7 trillion.

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Reportedly, IRENA stipulated that the global renewable energy sector employs 10 million people, of which the solar industry accounts for three million. Looking to 2050, the agency expects more than 28 million jobs to be generated in the renewable energy sector.

Against this backdrop, the GSC has laid out recommendations that would allow these goals to be achieved. The primary focus is on improving regulatory environments, removing restrictions on self-consumption, lowering the cost of capital, and setting an adequate price on carbon.

In terms of accelerating the deployment of PV, it asked states to establish reverse auctions, feed-in tariffs and power purchase agreements. It also spoke out in favor of building codes, which include PV, like California or the German city of Tübingen have done recently.

“Solar energy has reached important goals in terms of technology and costs now markets need to be re-designed to create a level playing field for all energy sources. In that context, Solar PV can leas the fight against climate change, being a driving force towards other renewables,” said Gianni Chianetta, GSC co-chairman, who presented the recommendations.

He added, “Our policy positions and recommendations are essential to reach the 2030 targets and we are committed to disseminate them to all key decision makers.”

For more updates about the proceedings of the COP24 negotiations follow our pv magazine live blog by editor Max Hall, who is reporting live from Katowice.

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