Renewable energy must provide a cost-effective solution to help economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic and achieve international climate goals.
This is according to a recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and the BloombergNEF (BNEF), which recommends additional renewable energy capacity of 3,000GW is required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global temperatures to below 2°C.
It notes renewable energy capacity grew by 184GW in 2019, helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.1 gigatonnes and highlights that as improvements in technology, increased competition and economies of scale further lower the costs of renewable electricity, global clean capacity growth is likely to increase.
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said: “The chorus of voices calling on governments to use their Covid-19 recovery packages to create sustainable economies is growing. This research shows that renewable energy is one of the smartest, most cost-effective investments they can make in these packages.
“If governments take advantage of the ever-falling price tag of renewables to put clean energy at the heart of Covid-19 economic recovery, they can take a big step towards a healthy natural world, which is the best insurance policy against global pandemics.”
Svenja Schulze, German Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, said: “The promotion of renewables can be a powerful engine for the recovery of the economy after the Coronavirus crisis, creating new and secure jobs.
“At the same time, renewables improve air quality thus protecting public health. By promoting renewable energies within the framework of Coronavirus economic stimulus packages, we have the opportunity to invest in future prosperity, health and climate protection.”