Make renewable energy technology a global public good
For renewable energy technology to be a global public good - meaning available to all, and not just to the wealthy - it will be essential to remove roadblocks to knowledge sharing and technological transfer, including intellectual property rights barriers.
Essential technologies such as battery storage systems allow energy from renewables, like solar and wind, to be stored and released when people, communities and businesses need power. They help to increase energy system flexibility due to their unique capability to quickly absorb, hold and re-inject electricity, says the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Moreover, when paired with renewable generators, battery storage technologies can provide reliable and cheaper electricity in isolated grids and to off-grid communities in remote locations.
Improve global access to components and raw materials
A robust supply of renewable energy components and raw materials is essential. More widespread access to all the key components and materials - from the minerals needed to produce wind turbines and electricity networks, to electric vehicles - will be key.
It will take significant international coordination to expand and diversify manufacturing capacity globally. Moreover, greater investments are needed to ensure a just transition - including in people’s skills training, research and innovation, and incentives to build supply chains through sustainable practices that protect ecosystems and cultures.
Level the playing field for renewable energy technologies
While global cooperation and coordination is critical, domestic policy frameworks must urgently be reformed to streamline and fast-track renewable energy projects and catalyze private sector investments.
Technology, capacity and funds for renewable energy transition exist, but there needs to be policies and processes in place to reduce market risk and enable and incentivize investments - including through streamlining the planning, permitting and regulatory processes, and preventing bottlenecks and red tape. This could include allocating space to enable large-scale build-outs in special Renewable Energy Zones.
Nationally Determined Contributions, countries’ individual climate action plans to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, must set 1.5C aligned renewable energy targets - and the share of renewables in global electricity generation must increase from today’s 29 percent to 60 percent by 2030.
Clear and robust policies, transparent processes, public support and the availability of modern energy transmission systems are key to accelerating the uptake of wind and solar energy technologies.
Shift energy subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy
Fossil-fuel subsidies are one of the biggest financial barriers hampering the world’s shift to renewable energy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that about $5.9 trillion was spent on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in 2020 alone, including through explicit subsidies, tax breaks, and health and environmental damages that were not priced into the cost of fossil fuels. That’s roughly $11 billion a day.
Fossil fuel subsidies are both inefficient and inequitable. Across developing countries, about half of the public resources spent to support fossil fuel consumption benefits the richest 20 percent of the population, according to the IMF.
Shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy not only cuts emissions, it also contributes to the sustainable economic growth, job creation, better public health and more equality, particularly for the poor and most vulnerable communities around the world.