Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 9 May, 2011 – Renewable energy sources have a major role to
play in diversified, low-carbon energy systems, according to a report released by
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is a powerful support
for the UAE’s aggressive push into renewable energy technologies, announced
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Chief
Executive of Masdar, at a press conference announcing the release of the report on
“As well as having a large potential to mitigate climate change, renewable energy
can provide wider benefits. Renewable energy can contribute to social and economic
development, energy access, energy security, and reduce negative impacts on the
environment and health,” stated the report.
“The report makes clear that the energy mix chosen will vary from country to
country, but renewable energy has a potentially huge role to play in that energy mix
and that global technical potential for renewable energy, as a whole, is unlimited,”
said Dr. Al Jaber. “This diversified approach is consistent with the strategy being
followed by the UAE.”
“The inception of the Masdar Initiative, the UAE’s strategic and holistic renewable
energy and sustainability initiative was based on our belief that the renewable
energy sector would witness an increasing growth. The data compiled by the IPCC
reaffirms our beliefs,” he said.
Adnan Amin, Director General of IRENA, said: “The IPCC Special report indicates
that the growth of the renewable energy sector is both imminent and progressive –
it clearly indicates that renewable energy will have a major role to play in the future
energy mix of the world."
The report reviews 164 scenarios for the growth of new renewable energy sources,
excluding traditional biomass. These foresee renewable energy growing by between
three and 20 times in scale by the middle of this century.
Meanwhile, despite global financial challenges, renewable energy capacity grew in
2009 — wind by over 30 per cent; hydropower by three per cent; grid-connected
photovoltaics by over 50 per cent; geothermal by 4 per cent; solar water/heating by
over 20 per cent and ethanol and biodiesel production rose by 10 per cent and 9 per
According to the report, estimates for the investment needed during this decade
alone range from 1.3 to 5.1 trillion dollars. “These projections show the huge scale
of the opportunity to invest, creating new jobs, economic growth and cleaner energy
systems,” said Dr. Al Jaber
Moreover, close to 80 per cent of the world’s energy supply could be met by
renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies.
Dr. Al Jaber also highlighted the possible role that the Masdar Institute of Science
and Technology could take in filling the gap of identifying more information on
managing energy systems and integrating very high levels of renewable energy.
“I hope that UAE institutions including the Masdar Institute will be able to play a
role in filling this gap in the future,” he said. “There is scope here for innovation,
investment and the creation of new jobs and growth.”
Following the release of the report, members of the IPCC and the Masdar Institute
held a special panel on Renewable Energy technology and policies to discuss further
means of collaboration.
In closing, Dr. Sultan thanked the Chair, Co-authors and authors of the report,
adding, “The strength of this report, in my view, rests in the IPCC’s core methods –
this is a definitive review of the scientific literature on renewable energy.”