The COP28 Conference in the United Arab Emirates represented a landmark moment for global energy policy by pledging to transition away from fossil fuels, triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030. Collectively, more than 130 countries committed to radically transform the energy landscape by adopting IRENA’s 1.5°C Scenario recommendation to triple installed renewable power capacity to at least 11 terawatts (TW) by 2030 and to double the energy efficiency improvement rate. This historic agreement brings a newfound urgency for policy makers, who must now implement the strategies and measures required to facilitate a rapid escalation in renewable energy deployment.

Accelerated deployment of renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency measures, provides the most realistic means to reduce global emissions by 43% by 2030, in line with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). While a diverse selection of technologies is essential to fully decarbonise the energy system by 2050, the urgency of the 2030 deadline reduces the options available. Only renewable power and energy efficiency measures can be scaled up quickly enough to meet this approaching milestone. To ensure long-term success, however, this accelerated deployment must be complemented by continuous innovation and development across a much broader suite of technologies.

Tripling renewable power capacity by 2030 is technically feasible and economically viable but requires commitment, policy support and investment at scale. IRENA’s monitoring and analysis of renewable energy development and deployment has shown that the technological maturity achieved in the field of renewables – underpinned by enabling policies, competitiveness and widespread resources – has positioned the industry at the very heart of climate, development and energy security strategies. Since 2015, renewable power additions have consistently outpaced new fossil fuel and nuclear power installations combined, reaching an estimated 473 gigawatts (GW) in 2023 alone. However, tripling renewables globally will also require considerable progress elsewhere, including accelerated investments in infrastructure and system operation (e.g. power grids, storage); updated policies and regulations (e.g. power market design and regulation, streamlining permitting); measures to strengthen supply chains and develop transition-related skills; and a major scale-up of investment, including public funds supported by international collaboration.

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