World Energy Leaders Call for Action on Solar and Other Renewables at Fifth Clean Energy Ministerial

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Energy leaders from around the world meet at the Clean Energy Ministerial to strategize next steps to accelerate the deployment of clean and efficient energy. A number of countries are taking actions that will enhance clean energy supply, improve energy efficiency, and expand clean energy access around the world.

 

While certain politicians who shall remain unnamed go “full-on climate denier,” most of the world is taking climate change seriously. Even a year ago, the numbers were growing of people and institutions in the U.S. acknowledging climate change.

 

Energy leaders from around the world agree. They recognize the growing urgency of the world’s energy and climate challenges. A number of them gathered in Seoul this week for the fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) to strategize next steps to accelerate the deployment of clean and efficient energy.

 

The leaders at CEM5 didn’t mince words. Yoon Sang-Jick, Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, said in his opening remarks that it was important for those present to “spur a cycle of technology development and market creation.” U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz, who co-chaired the meeting, went further, calling on attendees to “aim for nothing less than a worldwide clean energy revolution.”

 

At the meeting, energy delegates highlighted progress made through the Ministerial’s collaborative initiatives. They announced new and expanded actions that will enhance clean energy supply, improve energy efficiency, and expand clean energy access around the world.  

 

Just a few highlights:

 

  • The Clean Energy Solutions Center and the International Renewable Energy Agency signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the Renewable Energy Policy Advice Network (REPAN). The organization will coordinate a global network of experts and practitioners to help countries design and implement renewable energy policies and programs.

  • The Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group announced the release of a new report, econValue – The Socio-Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy. The report highlights approaches for measuring the economic value, such as jobs and tax revenues, created by deploying solar and wind technologies.

  • Global LEAP organized a first-of-its-kind off-grid appliance and clean energy system “PlugFest” event during CEM5. PlugFest brought together low-voltage DC appliance manufacturers, off-grid solar home system companies, and other energy access professionals to share best practices and to test appliance-system interoperability — a key challenge facing the off-grid clean energy access market.

  • Ministers announced that the CEM will explore three additional work streams: the market accessibility of clean energy products, clean energy finance, and the energy-water nexus.   

 

The above-mentioned politician should take note. Not only are energy leaders taking climate change seriously, but the public is acknowledging it more all the time. And the facts will be hard to avoid. The recently released National Climate Assessment predicts serious effects of climate change in said politician’s home state. In this climate, any candidate for office would be well advised to take note of what will affect their constituents close to home.