IRENA Policy Talks 2024 – Tripling Renewables: Ambition, progress, and financing needs

Renewable energy ambitions within NDCs are not only insufficient, but also fall short of what countries have committed to in domestic policies that exist outside the framework of the Paris Agreement (national laws, policies, roadmaps, plans, strategies). As per IRENA’s 1.5°C pathway, and the COP28 pledge to triple renewable power globally, renewable power generation capacity in the G20 countries alone would need to grow from less than 3 terawatts (TW) in 2022 to 9.4 TW by 2030, accounting for 80% of the global total. The commitments made in NDCs account for less than half of that required to align with the tripling renewables pledge, and those made in national energy plans and policies fall short by 30%.

At the other end of the emissions spectrum LDCs and SIDS contribute less than 5% of global GHG emissions, yet they are disproportionately impacted by climate change and remain particularly vulnerable due to their economic structures, limited adaptive capacity and geographical locations. For both groups of countries, renewable energy offers opportunities for socioeconomic development, increased access to reliable and affordable clean energy, and energy security. They have set targets in their NDCs that indicate an intention to double their capacity compared to 2022 – to reach total installed renewable capacity of more than 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. More than half of the capacity that remains to be added is conditional on international support in the form of financing, technical assistance, technology transfer, capacity building and other forms of support.

The first session of IRENA's Policy Talks 2024 delved into the key insights of the report: NDCs and renewable energy targets in 2023: Tripling renewable power by 2030. It discussed renewable energy targets in countries’ NDCs, and their level of ambition in relation to IRENA’s 1.5°C scenario and the goal of tripling renewables in the power sector by 2030. Special attention was given to financing needs in developing countries – particularly LDCs and SIDS – as communicated through their NDCs. In that context, the webinar revisited the findings of IRENA’s report Global landscape of renewable energy finance 2023, highlighting the gap between historical investments with respect to what is needed up to 2030. Finally, the webinar shed light on the misalignments between renewable energy targets in NDCs with those set in national plans and policies, and discussed ways to achieve further coherence between the two. Aligning renewable energy targets in NDCs and national energy plans would increase the effectiveness and credibility of both. It would also reinforce clear signals to investors, developers, and other players across the supply chain, thus enabling further development of the renewable energy sector.

A moderated panel discussion reflected on the findings of the reports, featuring key experts from governments, think tanks, international organisations. Additional following questions wer explored:

  • In light of the COP28 pledge to triple renewable power globally, what are the most critical actions that G20 members need to take to increase their renewable power generation capacity from less than 3 terawatts in 2022 to 9.4 terawatts by 2030?
  • What concrete steps can be taken to ensure that developing countries receive the necessary financing, technical assistance, and technology transfer, to meet their renewable energy ambitions, that could serve objectives beyond climate?
  • How can countries align their NDCs with domestic energy and investments policies to send clearer signals to investors, project developers, and the international community at large?

A Q&A session followed.