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Solar, Wind Show Path to Low-Cost Finance for Energy Transition

Governments can learn from solar and onshore wind investments to cut the cost of transitioning to a wider range of renewable energy technologies, says a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Co-launched by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the report outlines policy frameworks that can reduce the transaction costs of technology transfers and facilitate foreign direct investments to accelerate the scale-up of hydrogen, offshore wind and battery storage. According to IRENA, the report draws on lessons learned from the sharp cost reductions seen in solar and wind power and can be used in Group of 20 countries and beyond. Noting that country or policy risk is often identified as the “primary impediment” to international institutional capital flows, IRENA said the frameworks listed in the report can drive improvements in enabling technologies, business models, market design, and system operation. The agency previously estimated the renewable energy share in the primary energy mix would need to rise by about three-quarters to meet the 1.5°C climate goal, necessitating annual investments averaging over US5 trillion until 2030. Low-cost financing is identified as one of the six key priority areas established by India’s G20 Presidency.


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