• Saudi investments in renewable energy increase by 53% during 2019 ... its uses are expanding globally


    ​Majed Al-Jamil from Geneva​

    Saudi Arabia invested $ 500 million in renewable energy capabilities in 2019, achieving a growth of 53 percent year on year, according to the most important annual UN report on renewable energy.

    With these results, Saudi Arabia ranked fourth among the countries of the Middle East and Africa, which ranked first in the UAE as a result of investing $ 4.5 billion in renewable energy in 2019, which is the largest global financing for a solar project, up 1223 percent from the previous year.

    The report "Global Trends in Investing in Renewable Energy for 2020", issued by the United Nations Environment Program and the Frankfurt Environment Center collaborating with the program, analyzes investment trends for 2019 and the clean energy commitments that countries and companies have made for the next decade.

    After the UAE, South Africa came in second place, with a billion-dollar investment, a 76 percent decrease from 2018, then Kenya with a 700 million dollar investment, down 45 percent from 2018.

    After Saudi Arabia, Morocco came in fifth place, investing $ 500 million in 2019, a decline of 83 percent from the previous year, then Egypt investing $ 400 million, a decrease of 56 percent, and Zimbabwe in seventh place, investing $ 400 million, a growth of 3754 percent, then Jordan In eighth place with an investment of 300 million dollars, a figure that represented a decline of 69%

    "The climate and the Covid-19 crises, despite their different nature, are disturbances of interest to policymakers and managers alike, and the two crises demonstrate the need to increase climate ambition to shift towards renewables," the report says.

    "Clean energy finds itself at a crossroads in 2020. The past decade has yielded tremendous progress, but the official goals for 2030 are much less than what is needed to tackle climate change. When the current crisis subsides, governments will need to reinforce their ambitions not just about renewable energy," he says. , But also about decarbonizing transportation, buildings, and industry.

    The report believes that renewable energy has proven to be "more cost-effective than ever" and that it "provides an opportunity to prioritize clean energy in economic recovery and bring the world closer to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement."
    The report concludes that: 184 gigawatts of clean energy was added in 2019, a jump that represents 20 gigawatts from 164 gigawatts added in 2018, knowing that one gigawatt is equivalent to the capacity of a nuclear reactor.​

    One of the interesting points that the report reveals is that this new capacity, along with the increase in its energy capacity, was delivered with the same investment in 2018, or the equivalent of $ 282.2 billion, "indicating low costs."
    Moreover, 826 gigawatts of new, non-aqueous renewable energy has been planned for 2030, at a cost likely to be around $ 1 trillion, “one gigawatt is equivalent to the capacity of a nuclear reactor.
    Going the right path to reducing the global temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius, according to the Paris Agreement, requires the addition of approximately three thousand gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
    The United States outperformed Europe last year in terms of investing in renewable: $ 55.5 billion, up 28 percent, helped by the record surge in wild winds, and also taking advantage of tax exemptions before they expire. Meanwhile, Europe invested $ 54.6 billion, a 7 percent decrease.
    The year 2019 witnessed many indices, including the highest additions from solar energy in one year: 118 GW, and the highest investment in marine winds in one year, reaching $ 29.9 billion, an increase of 19 percent year on year.
    The year also recorded the highest investment in renewable energy sources in developing economies other than China and India, with a value of $ 59.5 billion, and investment expansion, as the number of countries and territories that invest more than two billion dollars in renewable energy sources reached 21 countries and territories​

    This is in addition to the highest volume of energy purchase agreements in the field of renewable energy in energy companies, at 19.5 GW worldwide, and the highest energy capacity granted in renewable energy auctions, reaching 78.5 GW worldwide.
    Thus, the investment in 2019 raised the share of renewable energy, with the exception of large hydropower, in the global generation to 13.4%, from 12.4% in 2018 and 5.9% in 2009. This means that in 2019 renewable energy plants prevented the emission of an estimated About 2.1 gigaton of carbon dioxide, which is a big saving if you take into account that the global energy sector emissions are about 13.5 gigatons in 2019.​

    Moreover, the report shows that the cost of installing renewable energy has reached new lows, which means that future investments will provide more capacity.​
    With the exception of large hydroelectric dams with a capacity greater than 50 MW, renewable energy capacity grew by 184 GW in 2019, and this annual addition was the highest ever 20 GW, or 12 percent, more than the new capacity that was put into operation in 2018 However, investment in 2019 was only 1 percent higher than the previous year, at $ 282.2 billion.​

    The report reveals that the overall cost of electricity continues to decline in relation to wind and solar energy "thanks to technical improvements, economies of scale and fierce competition in auctions of energy sales". Electricity costs from new solar power plants in the second half of 2019 were 83 percent lower than a decade ago.​
    "The voices calling on governments to use recovery packages related to the Covid-19 epidemic to create sustainable economies are increasing. This research shows that renewable energy is one of the smartest, most cost-effective investments that can be made," said Enker Anderson, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, to do it in these packages.
    He adds, "If governments took advantage of the price of renewable energy, which is constantly declining to put clean energy in the heart of the economic recovery of the epidemic COVID - 19, she can take a big step towards a healthy natural world, which is the best insurance against global pandemics policy."​

    ​"Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy already represent nearly 80 percent of the newly built energy to generate electricity, and investors and markets are convinced of their reliability and competitiveness," said Svenja Scholze, Germany's Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.​
    "The promotion of renewable energy sources can be a powerful engine for reviving the economy after the Coronavirus crisis, which provides new and safe job opportunities. At the same time, renewable energy sources improve air quality and thus protect public health. And by promoting renewable energies within the framework of groups Corona economic stimulus, we have the opportunity to invest in prosperity, health, and climate protection in the future. 

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