COP21 LPAA Focus on Energy: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Can Unlock Climate Solution
Hundreds of governments, businesses, and cities are making strong commitments to accelerate the energy transition. Recognizing that transformation of the global energy system forms the backbone of climate action, they joined forces under a set of major cooperative initiatives that were launched or presented during the Lima-Paris Action Agenda Focus on Energy today at the COP21 UN climate change conference.
The energy sector, accounting for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, must be at the heart of any effort to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. An energy transition is underway worldwide. To make the next step-change in the energy sector, the world must focus on three core objectives:
– utilise all available technologies and push forward new research and development
– increase ambition to change among all actors in all regions of the world
– mobilise the funds needed to enable the transition
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access, the international community set itself a clear roadmap towards a clean energy, sustainable future.The LPAA Focus on energy will showcase that implementation across the board is underway. Partnerships and initiatives are raising the ambition to scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency action until it is enough to meet the global climate objectives, while making sure that no one is left behind.
A profound renewable dynamic is spreading to all countries in the world, with regions working to leapfrog to clean energy
The business case for renewable energy has never been stronger. Renewables are now the most cost-competitive source of power in many parts of the world and renewable power accounted for more than half of all capacity additions in the global power sector since 2011. Actions on these fronts are well underway as highlighted by the announcements featured.
Several initiatives are launched at the COP and LPAA Energy day, to accelerate this dynamic:
– The Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), launched today, is set to achieve a 500% increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation and a 200% increase for geothermal heating by 2030. The world contains vast geothermal energy potential, proven across nearly 90 countries. But almost 90% of this remains untapped with roughly 12 GW installed so far. What was an idea just over a year ago, the GGA is now a strong partnership of 36 countries and 23 institutions with the action plan in place to meet the set goal.
– India elaborated on its recently launched International Solar Alliance (ISA), which aims to align countries with the abundant solar potential to push the development of solar energy technologies. With the focus on accelerating the deployment of solar energy in developing countries, the Alliance will work to meet the multiple objectives of access, economic prosperity and sustainable growth. The transformation potential of the Alliance lies in its prospective membership of over 120 countries of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
Africa launched a 300 GW Renewable initiative, backed by regional approaches:
– The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) announces its ambitious plans for deployment of renewable energy in Africa: build at least 10 GW of new and additional renewable energy generation capacity by 2020 and 300 GW by 2020. Considering that current total electricity generation in Africa is roughly 150GW this is a massive contribution to the climate change effort by the region. The Energy Day featured the forging of a range of partnerships to help meet this ambition.
– The Africa Clean Energy Corridor demonstrates progress and announces the beginning of similar work in the West Africa power pool. Clean Energy Corridors are regional platforms to accelerate deployment of renewable energy in larger region thanks to economy of scale and optimization of resources. Regional planning, capacity building, regulation convergence and tapping and connecting the best potentials are at the program of these partnerships. Combined electricity demand in the Eastern Africa and Southern African power pools could exceed 1000 terawatt-hours by 2030 – more than double their 2010 power consumption. Renewable energy can help meet this rising demand and drive Africa’s rapid economic growth without adding to global climate risks.
Existing initiative are speeding-up to deliver project on the ground:
– On islands, the Small Islands Developing States Lighthouses Initiative (SIDS) announced that Saint Lucia is the 29th island to join the initiative. Since its launch in September 2014, the Initiative which aims at facilitating the up-take of renewable in islands has gain significant strides in meeting its set objectives. 18 small islands have developed their roadmaps for deployment of renewable energy and other early successes include the mobilisation of USD 150 million in financing, and the deployment of 18 MW of renewable energy. Development of bankable projects is one of the major barriers and a new pilot project development facility is being announced with the aim to grow it based on the experience in the pilot phase.
No one should be left behind: boosting strategies and finance for access to sustainable energy
The world currently invests $9 billion a year on energy access, but $ 49.4 billion and more cooperation are needed to achieve universal access.
– Following those signed at the 2014 Climate Summit and at the 2015 SE4All Forum, a new series of memoranda of understanding on sustainable energy was signed between African countries (Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Kenya, Madagascar, Cameroon, and Zambia), the European Union, interested member states (France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy) and other interested donors like AFD. These memoranda will help about 15 countries to introduce policies and measures in support of sustainable energy, using the significant financial and technical support to turn these into major energy transformation initiatives in partner countries.
– A new cooperative (public and private) Fund, “ElectriFI”, based in European Development Finance Institutions, will be launched during the LPAA Focus on Energy with an initial EUR 75 million funding from the EU Commission.
Champions are emerging everywhere to lead the way toward 100% renewable energy and high energy efficiency
– Countries, regions, cities and companies are going 100% renewable. The RE100 campaign announces the latest addition to the family of more than 40 major companies already committed to a 100% renewable future. Vancouver Mayor will report back from the Cities’ Summit held on the 4th of December, where many Mayors took the commitment to be 100% renewable in 2050, representing a several GtCO2 reduction of emissions.
– Hundreds of governments, businesses and financial institutions pledged major action on energy efficiency at COP 21, recognizing it as the basis of the energy transition. The mobilisation of all actors around energy efficiency is gaining traction because it delivers significant economic and environmental gains :
– Some 775 companies, more than 130 national, regional and local governments and over 100 financial institutions are committing to ramping up energy efficiency measures and investments under the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative’s ‘100/100/100’ campaign.
– Of these, 75 companies have made specific commitments to increase their energy efficiency in action that will save up to 62,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) over the next five years.
Quick-win energy efficiency opportunities are starting to be implemented at scale
Gathered under the umbrella the SE4All’s Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, six growing coalitions are moving the global norm toward more efficient products and energy systems:
– Through the En.Lighten and Clean Energy Ministerial Global Lighting Challenge, more than 70 countries have agreed to phase out incandescent bulbs and promote the most efficient lighting technologies such as LED. These two large partnerships are creating a profound transformation of the lightning sector, pushing the old technologies out of the market. The energy and GHG saving potential of this one single technology are huge, with the potential to reduce by half the energy demand from lightning – representing 15% of total electricity consumption and 5% of GHG emission.
– More than 60 countries are joining Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) to implement public policies for vehicle energy efficiency aimed at halving average consumption by 2050.
– 100 partners have launched the Alliance for Building and Construction during the first ever Building Focus. It will offer new opportunities to reduce energy consumption in this sector. In support of this global mobilization, new grants from the Global Environment Facility through the Building Efficiency Accelerator will help develop projects in 30 new cities, with measures such as retrofits and improved building codes. The District Energy Systems Efficiency Accelerator will facilitate the adoption of district energy systems with technologies including waste heat recovery.
– With United for Efficiency (U4E), 18 countries, are committing to ambitious policies for efficient electrical appliances (air conditioning, refrigerators,…). One of the most impactful measure that can be taken. The new GEF program, “Leapfrogging Markets to High Efficiency Products”, led by UNEP, will complement and expand this first step with the means to support an additional 70 more countries.
– Two large scale pilots will be launched in China and India through the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator that will result in concrete emission reductions from the industry sector during 2016-2020.
More and more financial institutions are committing to better financing energy transition
– More than 100 banks and a group of Investors, managing close to US$ 4 trillion in assets, have committed to a major increase in energy efficiency lending in their portfolios. Lead by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UNEP Finance Initiative, this is a major undertaking toward the four-fold increase needed to realize the full energy efficiency potential for climate change.
– A Sustainable Energy Marketplace will officially be launched during the LPAA Focus. It is dedicated to facilitate and reduce the cost of transaction for renewable projects, starting with the African and the Latin-America platforms. It will be a matchmaking platform giving renewable energy projects and investors a simple way to connect. The Marketplace expects to house 100 projects by the beginning of 2016, and to mobilize 10 billion in project financing over the next 3 years. It will thus contribute to the doubling of annual investments needed to meet climate objectives.