At the Climate Week NYC, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director-General Francesco La Camera underscored the need for massive investments in renewable energy to mitigate the current energy crisis.
“Renewables are not only the most economical way to produce electricity, but also the most suitable way to ensure resilience and energy security,” Mr. La Camera said during the annual gathering that takes place alongside the UN General Assembly. The Climate Week NYC brings together heads of state, government officials, CEOs and civil society leaders come together to discuss and drive greater, immediate climate actions.
Speaking at the morning panel session of the Opening Ceremony titled ‘Tackling the energy security challenge’, the Director-General stressed on the urgency of strong climate actions. “There is no doubt that we are going into a new energy system comprising renewables, energy efficiency, green hydrogen and sustainable biomass. The question is whether we will get there in time,” he said.
Renewables are often criticised as being unsuited to providing baseload power because of their intermittency. Disapproving the prevalent myth, the Director-General said the issue can be solved by investing in the logistics of the future energy system. “If we change the logistics and make the system organised in an efficient way by renewing the grids, renewables can definitely provide the baseload.”
That view was echoed by Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Australia as he highlighted the role of renewables in tackling the current energy crisis. “Renewable energy is the cheapest and most secure form of energy, provided we have the infrastructure such as transmission and energy storage,” the Minister said.
The session’s moderator, Bill Ritter, Former-Governor of Colorado, and US Board Chair for Climate Group, invited perspectives on the challenges associated with energy security and renewable energy. Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), underscored the importance of regulatory reforms to speed up renewable energy deployment. "We already know that clean energy and energy efficiency are secure energy, but we need to look at our regulatory agenda, in particular in infrastructure. There is no way we are going to be able to deploy renewables at scale without reforming our regulations."
Highlighting the urgency to increase the speed and scale of renewables deployment especially in the face of energy security challenge, Mr. La Camera said, “We just don't know when the crisis will end, and it adds to the urgency of the transition. We have stated in our Outlook earlier that we need to triple investments in renewables, but since we are losing time, we need more than triple the investments this time.”