The European Union Delegation to the UAE, in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), has organized a high-level panel discussion titled “Solar power for a more democratic access to power”, as part of the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2022 and ahead of COP27.
The event presented policy and business success stories from EU Member States and other IRENA Members, shedding light on the huge potential of solar energy in leading the way towards decarbonization of energy systems and helping to achieve climate neutrality around the world.
It was attended by around 40 IRENA Delegates, energy experts, diplomats, as well as business representatives from different regions on the sidelines of the 24th IRENA Council in Abu Dhabi, which offers an opportunity to build on their strong partnership and continued cooperation to support the development of renewable energy globally.
“Solar PV will expand quickly in the coming decades. IRENA’s 1.5 C scenario estimates that solar PV capacity will increase seven-fold by 2030. However, a successful transition hinges on collaborative efforts with a global dimension, requiring deep, active and informed participation. How we produce energy is only one element of the transition, but we need to go beyond the power sector to truly harness and accelerate the energy transition. A holistic policy approach is required to address the interactions across the different systemic layers, power, energy, economy, social and Earth.”
Mr. Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to the UAE, stated that “There is a huge potential for solar power in speeding up the energy transition. Solar is a democratic and accessible source of energy that can be rapidly deployed. The EU plans to double its solar energy production in the next five years. A very essential part of the EU’s efforts is also to support our partners worldwide with their energy transition, especially in Africa.”
The European Union has adopted an EU solar energy strategy, which identifies remaining barriers and challenges in the solar energy sector and outlines initiatives to overcome them and accelerate the deployment of solar technologies. The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system.
EU measures to boost solar energy include making the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of new buildings obligatory within a specific time frame, streamlining permitting procedures for renewable energy projects, improving the skills base in the solar sector and boosting the EU’s capacity to manufacture photovoltaic panels.
Boosting renewable energy is also an important part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. Solar energy is affordable, clean and has been the fastest-growing energy source in the last decade. It can be used for electricity and heating, while also helping reduce EU dependency on energy imports by replacing them with domestic production.
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