a group of world leaders of the entire renewable energy value chain and the sector’s innovation ecosystem today launched a new organization to ensure that renewable energy is fully sustainable for people and the planet and to lead a just transition away from fossil fuels.
The partners, united by a shared vision of the sustainability of the sector of renewable energies and the need to undertake concrete collaborative actions, have come together to create the World Alliance for Sustainable Energy. This initiative is unique in scope and ambition, and represents the founding members’ joint response to the urgent need to decarbonize the global energy system, while ensuring its sustainability from an environmental, social and governance (ESG) perspective. in English).
The World Alliance for Sustainable Energy brings together utilities from various geographic areas, leading manufacturers in the wind and solar PV supply chains, as well as industry associations and partners in the innovation industry. The 17 founding members, in alphabetical order, are as follows: 3M, Adani Green Energy Ltd., Edp, Eletrobras, Enel Green Power, Global Solar Council, Global Wind Energy Council, Goldwind, Iberdrola, JA Solar, Nordex Group, NTPC Limited, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino, ReNew Power, Risen Energy y Trina Solar.
“We have to act now – and act together – to make a serious commitment to carbon-free and sustainable energy,” said Salvatore Bernabei, representative of the founding members of the World Alliance for Sustainable Energy, and CEO of Enel Green Power. «We will pursue our mission to achieve a collective impact in the integration of sustainability throughout the value chain, taking advantage of the fundamental and shared values: responsibility, respect for human rights, protection of the environment and biodiversity, but also open collaboration and transparency ».
The Global Alliance for Sustainable Energy aims to rethink the meaning of “sustainable energy” and encompass all those who work in and are affected by renewable energy, joining forces with civil society, end users, policy makers, academic institutions, materials suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and allied utilities to interact with governments and investors. This initiative is fully in line with the 2030 agenda established in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Although wind and solar energy have different characteristics as renewable technologies, they are very complementary and share both growth trajectories and similar challenges for their sustainable development. Therefore, it is essential that wind and solar energy are more aligned to accelerate the energy transition.
‘The wind industry has a crucial role to play in cleaning up the dirty parts of the world economy, such as steel, cement and heavy transport, but also in decarbonization from our own supply chain, ”said Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). “Work on the sustainability of the wind industry itself is underway as we move from pilot projects to a large-scale industrial approach, tackling challenges such as circular economy solutions for blade recycling and protecting labor practices. and human rights vis-à-vis a rapidly expanding workforce. “
Apart from its climate impact, solar energy can contribute significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals thanks to the «domino effect» that extends to the economic, social and environmental spheres, benefiting areas such as health, education, gender equality and poverty alleviation, “said Gianni Chianetta, CEO of the Global Solar Council (GSC). “The key is a joint effort. It is no longer enough for a technology, industry or organization to lead the way: we have to lead together, with collaboration and joint action.
The launch of the Alliance comes at a critical moment for climate action and the energy transition, just two months before the COP26 climate summit of the United Nations to be held in Glasgow. Meanwhile, the latest scientific assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the world is lagging behind in limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels. or even keep them well below 2 ºC, as established in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and has indicated that the planet will warm 1.5 ºC in the next two decades if drastic measures are not taken to eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said this scientific consensus “must ring a death bell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy our planet.”
The way to keep global warming within the limits set by the Paris Agreement It is net zero by 2050 and climate action needs to be intensified to meet that goal. In this scenario, almost 70% of electricity generation worldwide would come from solar photovoltaic and wind energy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Renewable energy technologies, led by wind and solar PV, have come to dominate new electricity generation facilities as they have become the cheapest energy sources in many markets. In the last seven years, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), it has been added annually to the global grids more renewable energy than fossil fuel and nuclear combinedIn 2020, the dominance of cleantech over traditional sources increased even further, with 260 gigawatts of generation based on renewables worldwide, more than four times more than other sources.
The 17 members of the Alliance are willing to work together to face the challenges of sustainability in this transition and obtain results both in the short and medium term. They start their collaboration by focusing on four key areas where they can achieve quick results for the sustainability of the renewable energy industry, aligning the different players by establishing and harmonizing standards and metrics, around which they can be set. common goals, and adopting good practices. The areas of interest are the following: zero net emissions and CO2 footprints; circular economy and design; human rights; and water tracks.
The alliance is open to new members who share this vision and can contribute concretely to the ultimate goal of becoming a truly sustainable sector within the transition to net zero by 2050.