During a G20 Energy Ministers meeting in Beijing last week, energy ministers and other senior officials recognized recent progress made to increase the use of renewable energy. The review took place alongside the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to take stock of work completed under the G20 Toolkit of Voluntary Options for Renewable Energy Deployment, adopted last year at the first-ever G20 Energy Ministers meeting in Istanbul.
“The dramatic and ongoing shift in the global energy sector accelerated in 2015. Renewable energy costs have declined dramatically and will continue to do so, investment reached record levels, and global capacity additions set new record highs,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Much of this can be attributed to the G20’s strong commitment to renewables.”
In 2015, Energy Ministers endorsed an 11-point Communiqué, including the adoption of a renewable energy toolkit, that assists countries in identifying and deploying renewable energy opportunities. The toolkit focuses on five areas including: Driving down technology costs; Exchanging good practices on enabling policy frameworks and power system integration; Mobilising finance through risk mitigation; Technology potentials and roadmaps; and Deployment of modern bioenergy. During the meeting, progress in each area was reviewed.
Of note, in April of this year IRENA released a paper, “Boosting Biofuels: sustainable Paths to Greater Energy Security,” which provides an overview of the challenges of scaling up biofuels and different means for G20 countries to overcome those challenges.
Building on the success already achieved through the toolkit, Energy Ministers are now considering a G20 Voluntary Action Plan on Renewable Energy to drive the continued expansion of renewable energy in G20 countries.