The prospects for renewable energy look good in 2021. The mood around the world has shifted. At opposite ends of the Earth, China has adopted a target to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2060, while US President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on his first day in office. And here in the UAE, the number of renewable projects and amount of new capacity brought online in 2020 will continue to accelerate.
In the world of business, clean energy firms are taking financial markets by storm, as shown by Tesla recently joining the S&P 500 share index as one of its largest members. Meanwhile, tax credits and subsidies have allowed renewable technologies to scale-up significantly in many parts of the world, helping to drive down their costs. Solar and onshore wind farms are now the cheapest new electricity options for up to two-thirds of the global population, according to BloombergNEF.
That’s not all. The 11th Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) Assembly announced the foundation of the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy. The meeting will be the first major UN discussion on energy in over four decades and will give the global community a chance to address progress on the way towards Sustainable Development Goal 7, which was set by the UN in 2015 to ensure access to sustainable energy for all. As the renewable revolution takes hold, we have a historic opportunity to progress to decarbonised power systems in a manner that brings universal access to energy.