IRENA Demystifies Renewable Energy Costs

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GLOBE-Net, December 10, 2013

First-of-its-kind web portal launched by International Renewable Energy Agency

On the occasion of the sixth meeting of its Council in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) yesterday launched a unique web portal dedicated to renewable energy cost analysis (www.irena.org/costs). The portal provides access to IRENA’s data and analysis at no cost to users.

“IRENA has developed the most current and comprehensive global database of renewable energy project costs available to the public. Our new portal makes this resource available for policy makers, businesses and the renewable energy community worldwide,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, and project leader for this initiative.

“The data shows that the costs of renewable energy are declining, sometimes rapidly. Investment and policy decisions can now be based on the latest, verified data from a trusted source,” added Mr Gielen. “Recent cost reductions, notably for solar photovoltaics, have profound implications for social and economic development opportunities and for millions of people’s aspirations for a better life. On economic grounds, their access to modern energy should be renewable based,” he said.

The new portal showcases IRENA’s position as the global source for cost and performance data of all renewable energy technologies. The web portal makes the latest and best cost data, as well as the Agency’s analysis, publications, presentations and charts accessible to the public.

It provides an important service for the further development of renewable energy globally. Often, the lack of up-to-date, accurate and reliable data on cost and performance was seen as a barrier to the uptake of renewable energy technologies. IRENA’s new web portal is ensuring that this will not be the case in the future and the debate about the role of renewable energy technologies in the energy sector can be based on the facts.

The portal is accessible to the public at www.irena.org/costs, free for all users.

IRENA holds its sixth Council meeting in Abu Dhabi today and tomorrow. The meeting is attended by representatives of 21 IRENA Members, elected for a two-year term on a rotating basis. IRENA’s Council is accountable to IRENA’s Assembly, which will be held in Abu Dhabi on January 18 and 19, kicking off the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Related: Learn more about IRENA

On October 17 Michael Taylor (Senior Analyst, International Renewable Energy Agency Innovation and Technology Center, Bonn) participated in the GIZ event “The uphill battle: New challenges for low-cost renewable energies”.

This event involved Michael Taylor (IRENA) – who researches costs and technology trends in the area of renewable energies – and Dr Bernhard Bösl (Senior Advisor Energy, GIZ) answering a series of questions by the moderator, including: Are renewables really a viable alternative for developing and emerging countries? And if so, what is the role of the international community and German international cooperation, especially considering the German ‘Energiewende’, in ensuring sustainable development of the energy sector in other countries? What successful forms of collaboration exist between researchers and practitioners, and how can these be used to catalyse the deployment of renewables?

Michael Taylor (IRENA) noted that ‘The recent cost reductions for renewable energy technologies, particularly solar PV, have the potential to have a profound impact on developing countries’ economic development … IRENA’s analysis of 8000 renewable energy projects around the world clearly shows that renewables are now THE economic solution off grid, but also increasingly for grid supply’. 

About IRENA:

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 120 Members (119 States and the European Union). Over 40 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first global intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.


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