Most new electricity capacity will be renewable, setting the stage for a sustainable future.
According to The National, at the start of 2021, I said that renewable energy had a big year ahead. Now, as we reach the end of the year, this has turned out to be something of an understatement – although, it is easy to be wise after the event.
As we stand on the precipice of 2022, and face down the possibility that we rather might be about to enter ‘2020 two’, we must double down on the commitments, pledges and actions taken in this extraordinary year to ensure that we pragmatically transition to a world powered by renewable and clean energy solutions.
The last 12 months have tested the reserves of human innovation and tried the resilience of the renewables sector in equal measure. Both have come up trumps. And both – humanity and renewable energy – must move forward, hand in hand, drawing strength and support from each other to forge a more sustainable future for all.
From the US rejoining the Paris Agreement to a burst of net-zero strategies from the Gulf states, through to the UNFCC’s selection of the Emirates to host Cop28 in 2023, it has been a year that has delivered on some key promises. At the same time, it has also seen leaders, governments and industries demonstrate a critical awareness that so much more still needs to be done if we are to “keep 1.5 alive” – that is, preserve the goal of no more than a 1.5ºC temperature rise, as the slogan of Cop26 in Glasgow said.
We should enter the new year not with fear or trepidation, but with confidence and optimism. A brief review of what we achieved in the face of unprecedented adversity should show why. Despite the seismic impact of the pandemic, our world got greener and more efficient, as renewable energy stepped up to the plate. Industry got cleaner. Technology got smarter. Climate action became more urgent.