IRENA Members Aim to Reach High Shares of Renewables with Long-term Energy Scenarios

A growing number of countries are undergoing a transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy systems, while others have already achieved considerably high shares of renewables, and addressed a number of challenges in ensuring reliability, affordability and grid flexibility. These experiences can contribute to guiding countries that are on a similar path, and effectively address challenges through enhanced dialogue and knowledge exchange.

“International cooperation and Long-term Energy Scenarios (LTES) are critical to achieving high renewables integration in the energy system,” said Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General, at the third meeting of the Collaborative Framework on Enhancing Dialogue on High Shares of Renewables in Energy Systems.

The meeting provided a platform for an exchange of experiences and best practices regarding the development and use of LTES and innovative scenario planning approaches.

Dedicated to the key theme of energy system planning, the meeting brought together participants from 40 IRENA members and States in Accession, as well as 5 partners, to discuss the role of LTES as a planning tool in achieving a high share of renewable energy and accelerating the global energy transition.

“National energy system planning needs to take into account future technology and market uncertainties; the dynamics of changes in the energy and energy-consuming sectors; diversity in investment environments; as well as socio-economic challenges, which all vary from one country to another” said Gurbuz Gonul, IRENA Director of Country Engagement and Partnerships.

Speaking on how IRENA’s LTES Initiative and Network are supporting countries in developing national energy plans through peer-to-peer exchanges for the last four years, Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre, said LTES is a fundamental tool for energy policy making. “In many Latin American and Caribbean countries, robust institutional processes for using energy scenarios and modeling tools have been established. Official LTES developed in the region are increasingly characterised with a large share of renewable energy,” he added.

Co-facilitated by Canada and Uruguay, the meeting witnessed an exchange of experiences and best practices as important case studies on energy system planning with a focus on 100 percent renewables and end-use electrification.

Participants from Belize, China, Denmark, El Salvador, Kenya and Uruguay shared their perspectives on the implementation of energy system planning with an objective to reach high renewables share in their energy system.

The meeting was concluded with a live polling session, inviting participants to share their views and experience on LTES use. Poll results indicate that 30 percent of IRENA members have developed a net zero scenario to achieve the Paris Agreement goal. Fifty percent of the members, according to the poll, have prioritised the transport sector electrification in their official LTES, while 56 percent of them consider system flexibility crucial to the integration of high shares of renewable energy in the power system.

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