Renewable energy will play the most important role in our future energy system, but stable energy markets are needed to guarantee this transition to a world powered by 100% renewable energy.
As Mr Amadou Hott, Vice President of the African Development Bank emphasized at the 9th General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in January 2019, the importance of stable energy markets cannot be understated. Only when these are create “we can solve the Energy Paradox in Africa where we have abundant resources, but 600 million people still lack access to electricity”, so Mr Hott. One day earlier, IRENA welcomed some 70 Members of Parliaments from all over the world to their annual Legislator Forum. And the question of how to create those stable markets was the elephant in the room.
The answer of course is complex and different from country to country – depending on not just a number of technical factors, but also grid connectivity, share of population with access to electricity, distribution of resources and other factors. However, attending parliamentarians were unanimous: legislators play a key role in creating the necessary stable markets.
The powerful connection between a successful energy transition and developing renewable energies and real investments are reliable and binding policies: Policies that provide investment security for renewable energy investors; policies that translate international agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord or the Agenda 2030 Furthermore into local and national energy markets; and policies that regulate market access, stimulate innovation and ensure socially balances energy prizes within local constituencies. Therefore, policymakers and legislators are at the forefront of the global uptake of renewable energy. There are plenty of such successful policies around the globe which may consist of (financial) incentives or legally binding targets and regulations, depending on the local circumstances. Yet, ideally, all such policies would indeed be channeling financial flows towards modern sustainable energy markets.
The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is working with legislators from around the world to develop and enact such enabling policies, in order to achieve a world powered by 100%RE. To this end, we cooperated with IRENA to identify key Members of Parliament from African countries to attend the Legislators Forum.