G8 has to give full priority to renewable energy Appropriate frameworks and institutions are necessary

The International Renewable Energy Alliance, an alliance of the three leading international renewable energy organisations, the International Hydropower Association IHA, the International Solar Energy Society ISES and the World Wind Energy Association WWEA, calls upon the heads of states and governments of the G8 countries to give full priority to renewable energy deployment.

The G8 summit at St Petersburg this week has global energy security as one basic theme. Rising prices for oil and gas and the threat of climate change underline the urgency of a rapid switch to more renewable energy. It is well known amongst international energy experts that the different renewable energy sources, be it biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar, or wind, can already today cover an essential share of the global energy supply. Reliable technologies are available to harvest these energies at competitive cost and some of the G8 countries have already made good progress in renewable energy with substantial shares of the energy supply.

The international community has recognised the importance of renewable energy in the declarations of the Renewables 2004 conference in Bonn and of the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference in 2005. The G8 also underlined in their 2005 Gleneagles declaration the need to act on the global level.

However, despite these sources offering a long-term solution to energy security and climate change, the lack of a level playing field often makes it impossible for renewable energies to compete on the international energy markets.

The leaders of the industrialised countries need to take the steps now to pave the way for an accelerated renewable energy deployment: it is well within their scope of influence to create fair market conditions for renewable energy technologies. New frameworks and dedicated institutions need to be created to make sure that the necessary financial, technological and knowledge-based resources for the accelerated implementation of renewable energy are available.

The Hon. Peter Rae AO, Convenor of IREA: “Global warming and security of supply demand serious attention to the deployment of existing renewable energy technologies. Additional attention and funding needs to be spent on research into the further development of the technologies to tap the full potential of the full range of these technologies and to further reduce the cost of production.”

Christine Hornstein, Executive Director of the International Solar Energy Society: “The sun’s energy is available around the world and the variety of solar applications offer solutions not only to the industrial world, but more than ever to developing countries in need of reliable energy sources for sustainable development and independence from expensive energy imports. Right now, the political will is the power needed to switch to a mix of renewables!”

Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association: “Wind is today the most dynamic energy source with more than 60.000 MW of capacity installed worldwide and yearly growth rates of 20-30 %. The G8 leaders should recognise that the wind energy development is a unique success story and that wind energy does and will provide together with the other renewable energies more security and sustainability to the global energy supply.”
World Wind Energy Association
Stefan Gsänger

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