An enabling environment is needed to upscale the world’s renewable energy (RE) projects and reach the global goal of 100-percent renewable power by 2050,the World Wide Fund for Nature said.
In a statement, Samantha Smith, WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader, said that while setting targets represents a clear commitment to renewable energy, simply setting these targets is not enough.
“The real job is to create an enabling environment, including financing, assured access for the poor, infrastructure and capacity-building. This is what will ensure these targets are achieved,” she said.
Smith noted that 138 countries have set renewable energy targets but implementation challenges remain, noting that the current power harnessed from the sun, water, wind, thermal vents and biomass currently supplies a mere 16.7 percent of the world’s power.
The new repor”Meeting Renewable Energy Targets: Global Lessons From The Road To Implementation” showed major challenges inhibiting RE project implementation in seven countries—the Philippines, China, India, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Spain—were identified.
The report showed that the said countries remained burdened by issues, including balancing policy flexibility and stability, implementing policies that promote cost competitiveness, identifying appropriate funding and investment security frameworks.
Also, these countries are facing problems with regard to transparency and accountability of decisions; achieving wide-scale political and social acceptance; mapping institutional and stakeholders discrepancies and diverging interests and overcoming infrastructural lock-in to conventional energy sources, policy reliability with long-term planning and sufficient human capacity building.
The report is a collaboration between the WWF and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to highlight key findings and understand which factors are crucial to reach national RE targets, based on the learnings from the seven countries.
“Financing is a particularly significant challenge and WWF’s recently-launched Seize Your Power! campaign urges governments and financial institutions worldwide to increase investments in RE,” Smith said.
Dr. Stepahn Singer, WWF Global Energy Policy director, said upscaling the implementation of RE is possible if countries avoid the mistakes and learn from the successes of countries which have pioneered implementation.
“Today, 138 countries across the globe have set RE targets—most to be met by 2020. But RE targets, important as they are, serve merely as icing on the cake,” Singer said.
He said that local and national participation by stakeholders, sound national technology assessments, schemes to provide affordable and clean energy to the poor, financing the needed cost of capital and infrastructure, grid integration, monitoring success and bottlenecks as well as a good compliance system are all crucial parts of a sound implementation plan to make renewables the key energy supply source in the coming decades.
The report, a collaboration between WWF and WRI, provides clear evidence that numerous factors are required to reach national RE targets, he noted.
“If addressed appropriately and consistently, these barriers can become opportunities for creating fundamental and solid conditions for successful RE implementation,” he said.
James Konstantin Galvez