The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has said renewable energy are becoming more mainstreamed since it was formed some 5 years ago in Abu Dhabi.
It also said the sector has witnessed increased capacity installations globally by over 36% since then.
“When we started out just over five years ago, many were not convinced of the need for the energy transformation,” said IRENA’s Director General, Adnan Amin, at the agency’s 12th council meeting in Abu Dhabi.
He added: “But developments during the past few years have exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic supporters.”
IRENA said falling costs and growing innovations have positioned renewables as an economical choice for power utilities, companies and individual consumers.
Also, IRENA indicated that in 2015 alone the world added a record amount of renewable energy to the tune of 152GW.
It said another record was broken in 2015 when $286 billion was invested in the renewable energy sector.
It noted that such huge investments are strong signals that the sector was now the preferred option for new power generation capacities around the world.
IRENA stated that as part of its future plans, it will implement the Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy 2030 to promote the integration of a greater share of renewable electricity in regional power systems.
It also disclosed that it was putting finishing touches to a comprehensive gap analysis, from which findings it would conduct regional stakeholder consultations in the first half of 2017 to identify key pillars for the implementation of the initiative.
Amin however stated that the agency was optimistic that renewables will revitalise economies and bring people out of poverty with its pace of deployment.
“Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments, transforming renewable energy solutions from the periphery, to an economically and technically preferable option.
“We live in a time of extraordinary change; change that is reshaping the way we think, live and work, and bringing new and transformative opportunities that will revitalize economies and lift people out of poverty, but also disrupt the known and put strain on the incumbents,” he said.
According to him: “The pace of this change will only accelerate. With the continued implementation of the work programme and responsiveness to the needs of our members, IRENA is playing our part to ensure that the sustainable energy future we need becomes a reality.”
Formed in 2011 with 75 original signatory countries, IRENA has grown its membership to include 149 nations with another 27 in the process of gaining membership.