Solar and Wind

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will present its new report Innovation landscape for a renewable-powered future: Solutions to integrate variable renewables, in Brussels on 19 February.

IRENA’s outgoing Director-General Adnan Z. Amin will present the report in the presence of EU Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Energy Director-General Dominique Ristori during an official launch event hosted by the European Commission.

Innovation is the engine powering the energy transition and the global pace of innovation is accelerating. Read more: Australian gold mine to install largest battery storage system

The power sector has led the way with rapid cost reductions in key renewable energy technologies, particularly in solar and wind energy.

Growth in variable renewable energy

Renewables accounted for an estimated quarter of total global power generation in 2017, with a substantial growth in variable renewable energy (VRE) like wind and solar PV technologies.

However, meeting the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement would require renewable energy to have an 85% share of total electricity generation by 2050, IRENA estimates.

Furthermore, the share of electricity consumed in the total energy demand of end-use sectors — industry, transport and buildings — would need to double from around 20% in 2015 to 40% by 2050.

With more VRE in the system, challenges to balance supply and demand will increase. To keep balancing costs low and therewith maximise the value of low-cost VRE, more flexibility in the power system is needed — flexibility generated by using innovative solutions.

IRENA’s Innovation landscape report maps and categorises many examples of innovations and innovative solutions in development by pioneering companies and backed by far-sighted governments around the world.

The report and its accompanying detailed online resources will provide decision makers with a clear, easily navigable but comprehensive guide to the diversity of innovations in use, or in development, in countries across the globe.