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IRENA reveals first global macroeconomic impact of renewables

EIA commands renewables to be the leading source of energy in five years to come
IRENA released the Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics report, at its sixth Assembly in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claims that global gross domestic product (GDP) could climb to 1.1% ($1.3 trillion) should the global energy mix increase its renewable energy share by 36% by 2030.

Renewable energy on macroeconomic scale

This was disclosed in the Renewable Energy Benefits: Measuring the Economics report, which IRENA released at its sixth Assembly in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The report shows the first global estimate of the macroeconomic impacts of renewable energy deployment, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reported.

The UNFCCC said that the report highlights the benefits should the 2010 global share of renewable energy double by 2030.

Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General said: “The recent [COP21]Paris Agreement sent a strong signal for countries to move from negotiation to action and rapidly decarbonise the energy sector.

“This analysis provides compelling evidence that achieving the needed energy transition would not only mitigate climate change, but also stimulate the economy, improve human welfare and boost employment worldwide.”

Renewable energy to have significant benefits

“Beyond finding that global GDP in 2030 would increase by up to USD 1.3 trillion – more than the combined economies of Chile, South Africa and Switzerland as of today – the report also analyses country-specific impact.

“Japan would see the largest positive GDP impact (2.3%) but Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea would also see growth of more than 1 per cent each,” the UNFCCC reported.

They added that this suggested target could impact on trade and would potentially halve global imports of coal and reduce oil and gas imports – benefiting large importers like Japan, India, Korea and the European Union.

Amin commented: “Mitigating climate change through the deployment of renewable energy and achieving other socio-economic targets is no longer an either or equation.

“Thanks to the growing business case for renewable energy, an investment in one is an investment in both. That is the definition of a win-win scenario.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.