Policy barriers could hold up efforts to triple renewables capacity
A new report from The Climate Group has called on world leaders at COP28 to introduce policies that overcome barriers to renewables uptake across the globe, following the pledge from more than 110 countries to triple clean energy generation capacity globally.
The Climate Group has launched the Financing the Energy Transition: How Governments Can Maximise Corporate Investment report at COP28 today (4 December)/
The report highlights that common policy gaps exist across multiple regions that are holding back renewables uptake. The report focuses on Argentina, China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa.
It calls on policymakers at COP28 to address availability of renewables in those countries, citing frustration around existing legislation that holds developments back. It also notes that accessibility in these nations is an issue for corporates. The Climate Group also says that the affordability of renewables in some markets are still too high compared to the vastly lower cost of renewable electricity elsewhere in the world.
“Renewables are the gold rush of the 21st century, but many businesses, states, regions, and countries are still missing out. The age of cheap fossil fuels is over, and it’s time for governments to take simple steps to open their markets to billions of dollars in corporate investment in cheap, clean renewable electricity,” the Climate Group’s director of energy Sam Kimmins said.
“It’s great that countries are actively discussing tripling their renewable electricity capacity, but they’re going to have to break down barriers in their own countries to deliver on that promise.”
The Climate Group is behind the RE100 initiative. Businesses that have made public commitments to procuring renewable electricity through the RE100 initiative have collectively increased clean energy consumption year-on-year.
RE100 member firms have reported consuming 49% renewable electricity on average in 2021, which is a 4% increase on 2020 levels.
mate Group’s RE100 initiative works with over 400 companies with a combined electricity demand larger than France, committed to using 100% renewable electricity across their global operations
In South Korea for example, 129 of the country’s 226 local governments (57%) have ordinances requiring solar facilities to be located at a minimum distance of anywhere between 100 to 1,000 meters from residential areas and roads – marking vast areas of the country off-limits to solar development.
At the World Leaders Summit at COP28, more than 100 countries signed up to a commitment to keep the 1.5C pathway of the Paris Agreement alive by pledging to triple global renewable capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, alongside another key pledge to phase out emissions from methane.
At COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber unveiled the Global Decarbonisation Accelerator (GDA), which acts as a comprehensive action plan to steer nations toward the 1.5C pathway of the Paris Agreement by committing to dramatic clean energy scale-ups and reducing emissions from methane production.
A total of 116 countries have signed up to the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, which will see them aim to triple global renewable generation capacity to at least 11,000 gigawatts and to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from around 2% to more than 4% every year until 2030. However, questions have been raised as to the transparency on the initiative, with some media reports suggesting that the likes of China and India had not signed up.