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IRENA, SolarPower Europe inks agreement to strengthen co-operation in solar sector

IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera and SolarPower Europe's CEO Walburga Hemetsberger (Source: IRENA)

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and SolarPower Europe have announced that they are strengthening their cooperation by signing a partnership agreement. As a member of the IRENA Coalition for Action since 2014, SolarPower Europe has been actively involved in various IRENA activities promoting the wider and faster uptake of renewable energy, including solar energy.

By leveraging on each other's strengths, IRENA and SolarPower Europe aim to jointly advance progress towards a cleaner energy future. Signed by IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera and SolarPower Europe's CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, the agreement will allow both parties to coordinate and support the implementation of measures to scale up solar energy deployment globally and ensure a just and inclusive energy transition.

"Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity generation in many parts of the world and continues to contribute to the largest gains in renewable energy capacity globally. We need to leverage this momentum by maximizing the sector's potential through collective actions. Cooperation is key to expedite progress in realizing IRENA's 1.5°C scenarios. By entering this agreement with SolarPower Europe, we hope to tap into the strengths and visions of multiple solar energy players, from the private sector," said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached almost 714 GW in 2020 globally, amounting to an increase of 20 percent from the previous year, and proving its competitiveness and resilience. Solar PV jobs reached 3.8 million in 2019 worldwide, representing almost a third of all renewable energy jobs. In the urban context, rooftop solar PV is a practical solution to increase access to affordable and reliable electricity for residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings, while also decarbonizing the power systems. In many countries, solar PV continues to play a key role to achieve access to 100 percent electricity in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and broader climate objectives.

"As the cheapest and most easily deployed clean energy technology today, solar can significantly contribute to SDG 7, which aims to ensure energy for all by 2030. Globally, solar energy is continuing to break installation records and is on track to reach the terawatt scale by 2022," Walburga Hemetsberger, Chief Executive Officer of SolarPower Europe said.

"With 70 percent of current global power still generated from non-renewable polluting energy, we need much more ambition from policymakers to accelerate the clean energy transition. We look forward to working with IRENA to scale up global solar energy installation, which will help us meet the Paris Agreement targets."

With this agreement, IRENA and SolarPower Europe will be able to exchange knowledge, data, and information to support and strengthen domestic supply chains and investments in solar energy development. The two organizations will also collaborate to track and analyze the latest trends in the private sector, including costs and innovations, as well as the socio-economic benefits of solar energy, to inform the policy decision-making process. 

Author : Moulin Oza
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