G7 Aims to Triple Renewables by 2030, IRENA Tracks Progress

Leaders Task Agency with Monitoring Ambitious Climate Target

In a move underscoring their commitment to tackling climate change, G7 leaders tasked the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) with monitoring the group’s progress towards a global target of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030.

This ambitious goal, established at the COP28 climate summit last November, aligns with IRENA’s roadmap for keeping global warming within the crucial 1.5°C threshold.

“Trust and transparency go hand in hand,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera, who participated in the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment. “IRENA will swiftly respond to the G7’s request to track their collective progress towards this critical target.”

Solar on Track, Offshore Wind Needs a Boost

An IRENA briefing presented to the G7 suggests the group is on track for its solar photovoltaic (PV) expansion target by 2030, provided existing policies are promptly strengthened. However, the report highlights the need for faster permitting processes, improved policy frameworks, and offshore grid expansion to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power.

“While the G7 shows promise in advancing solar PV, their commitment to offshore wind development is commendable,” remarked Mr. La Camera. “Realizing their clean energy aspirations hinges on prioritizing all renewable energy sources, coupled with modernizing infrastructure.”

Grid Reinforcement and Storage Expansion

The G7 communique emphasizes the importance of bolstering grid flexibility through grid reinforcement initiatives. This aligns with IRENA’s analysis, which underscores the need for swifter action. Additionally, the G7 called for a significant increase in energy storage capacity by more than six-fold to exceed 230 GW by 2030, echoing IRENA’s recommendations.

Focus on Developing Countries and Industrial Decarbonization

Recognizing the urgency of supporting developing nations, the G7 pledged to bolster the Accelerated Partnership for Renewable Energy in Africa (APRA). Under APRA’s auspices, Kenya and IRENA will convene the first APRA Investment Forum in September 2024.

Another IRENA report, requested by the Italian G7 Presidency, highlighted the concerning decline in public financial resources directed towards Africa’s energy sector. The report emphasizes the need to establish a framework conducive to attracting low-cost financing. To address this, IRENA recently launched a call for developers in APRA member countries to submit projects for inclusion at the Investment Forum, facilitating potential partnerships with financial institutions.