United Nations Renewable Energy – News and Updates UN and IRENA agree to promote green solutions offered by host countries in peacekeeping operations
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 15 June 2021 – The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations (UN) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate host country use of renewable energy generation in peacekeeping missions.
Under the agreement, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the United Nations will seek opportunities to work with countries hosting UN peacekeeping operations to identify host country policy, regulatory and technological measures that will help increase the share of renewable energy. In addition, IRENA will assist the UN in strengthening renewable energy production in these areas by promoting private sector investment.
These steps are aimed at creating opportunities for peacekeeping missions to obtain power from renewable energy sources in host countries where possible. This approach has the potential to reduce the UN’s environmental footprint, with the secondary benefit of helping host countries consolidate nascent renewable energy generation capacity during a critical transition period.
“Providing affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental part of inclusive development,” said IRENA Director General Francesco La Camera. “While energy systems powered by renewable energy are key to decarbonizing the world to meet climate goals, an abundance of renewable energy empowers governments and citizens by providing them with energy security, economic opportunity and social equity. Under this agreement, our two organizations will strive to make that future a reality as the host country rebuilds itself.”
“The Secretary-General’s Peacekeeping Initiative (A4P) includes a commitment to support environmentally responsible solutions. To that end, our six-year (2017-2023) Environmental Strategy transforms our operations into peacekeeping missions,” said the Director of operational support, Deputy Secretary General Atul Khare said. “Our focus on raising awareness, improving productivity and reducing our environmental footprint is encouraging peacekeeping missions to implement more renewable energy projects. Several renewable energy projects are already on site and we are keen to find new and innovative ways for outsourcing supply and execution of renewable energy on-site renewable energy solutions. Partnerships are important to achieving our goals – we look forward to working with IRENA to find innovative ways to increase our share of renewable energy.”
In many countries, renewable energy solutions are increasingly becoming the most economically attractive new form of electricity generation. They provide countries with clear socio-economic benefits in terms of net positive economic growth, job creation and access to energy – helping to achieve multiple sustainable development goals. From a peacekeeping perspective, reliance on diesel power creates daily logistical and security challenges, so the need for transition is inevitable.
Renewable energy technologies also support energy security and promote higher levels of energy independence by harnessing the vast renewable energy potential that exists worldwide in one form or another. By 2030, strengthen international cooperation to promote access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and clean fossil fuel technologies, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies
International capital flows to developing countries to support research and development in clean energy and renewable energy production, including hybrid systems
By 2030, expanding infrastructure and upgrading technologies to provide modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in compliance with their respective support plans
Despite progress, more than 700 million people around the world still live in the dark, and 2.4 billion people cook with harmful and polluting fuels. Despite improvements in the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, progress is not fast enough to achieve SDG 7. The war in Ukraine is raising global energy prices and increasing energy insecurity in Europe. In response to the energy crisis, some European countries are planning to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and increase investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, while others are planning a revival of coal, putting the green transition at risk.
From 2010 to 2020, the share of the world’s population using electricity increased from 83% to 91%, with 1.3 billion people having access to electricity. This still leaves 733 million people in the dark, more than three-quarters of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. During the period 2018 to 2020, the average annual increase in access should be 0.5 percentage points, which should accelerate to an average annual 0.9 percentage points, and universal access will be achieved by 2030. Huge efforts are needed , to reach people living in low-income, fragile and conflict-affected countries.
In 2020, 69% of the world’s population will have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. While more than half of people without access to clean cooking fuels live in Asia, 19 of the 20 countries with the lowest percentage of people with access to clean cooking fuels are African LDCs.
Renewables accounted for 17.7% of total global final energy consumption in 2019, up less than 1 percentage point from 2015. The energy sector has the highest share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption (26.2% in 2019) and is driving most of the growth in renewable energy use, with limited progress in the heating and transport sectors.
Global primary energy intensity – defined as total global energy supply per unit of GDP – increased from 5.6 megajoules per dollar (2017 PPP) in 2010 to 4.7 megajoules in 2019. Since 2015, global energy intensity has been average 1, an increase of 6% per year, still below the annual growth rate of 3.2% needed to achieve SDG 7.3.
International flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $10.9 billion in 2019, down 23.6% from 2018 and shrinking even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. A longer five-year moving average trend shows average annual commitments fell 5.5% for the first time since 2008, from $17.5 billion in 2014-18 to $16.6 billion in 2015-19.
In 2020, developing countries had a record 245.7 watts of installed renewable energy capacity per capita. Renewable energy capacity per capita has grown by 57.6% since 2015, but small island developing states, least developed countries and landlocked developing countries are lagging behind. It will take almost 40 years for least developed countries and developing countries and almost 15 years for small island developing States to reach the same level that developing countries achieved on average in 2020.
Despite significant progress over the past decade in improving electricity supply, increasing the use of renewable energy in the power sector and increasing energy efficiency, the world remains unable to provide affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all underserved. Clean and sustainable energy must be at the heart of the response to COVID-19 and efforts to combat climate change.
Global electricity penetration increased from 83% in 2010 to 90% in 2019, with electrification growing at an average annual rate of 0.876 percentage points. The global access deficit has decreased from 1.22 billion in 2010 to 759 million in 2019. Despite huge efforts, up to 660 million people worldwide will still be without access by 2030. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic will influence future progress in electrification.
In 2019, 66% of the world’s population had access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. In 2010-2019, most of the growth in such visits occurred in the most populous low- and middle-income countries and regions: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. People who rely on polluting fuels and technologies are exposed to high levels of indoor air pollution, with severe effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, increasing their vulnerability to diseases, including the COVID-19 virus.
The share of energy from renewable sources in total final energy consumption has steadily increased from 16.4% in 2010 to 17.1% in 2018. However, the share of modern renewable energy sources in total final energy consumption has only decreased by 2 .5 percentage point increase over 10 years and remains below 11% in 2018. The pandemic had a mixed impact on the development of renewable energy in end-use sectors: global electricity demand fell by 2% in 2020 compared to 2019. , but the use of renewable energy for electricity production increased year-on-year by 7%.
Global primary energy intensity increased from 5.6 MJ per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to 4.8 MJ in 2018, an average annual improvement of 2%. Although early forecasts for 2019 also show a 2% improvement, the outlook for 2020 shows just 0.8% due to the pandemic. Annual improvements by 2030 must average 3% if the target in target 7.3 is to be met.
International flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $14 billion in 2018, down 35 percent from 2017 but up 32 percent from 2010. Hydropower projects received 27 percent of funding in 2018 compared to
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