BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept.26. The countries of South-East and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia need to commit today to a renewables-based energy system, Trend reports with reference to the UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report 2022.
The report documents significant progress in the adoption of policies and targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, with at least 15 of the focus countries having established national renewable energy targets and 4 countries having set a target for net zero emissions or carbon neutrality. However, gaps remain in the adoption of policies and action plans, and implementation remains slow.
As a result, the combined public and private investment in renewables across the focus countries remains modest compared to global growth trends. In 2016, renewable energy investment in the region fell to USD 2.7 billion before returning to the 2013 level of USD 7.2 billion in 2018, representing around 2.2 percent of the global total. In comparison, the EU invested USD 55 billion in renewables in 2018.
“To ensure a low-carbon future with stable energy costs, countries need to commit today to a renewables-based energy system. This can be achieved through policy implementation, long-term funding to grow domestic supply chains and stronger regional co-operation.
“Energy security comes hand in hand with supply chain sovereignty. Policy action should promote domestic production and manufacturing of renewable energy and efficiency technologies and encourage project developers to use local equipment,” reads the report.
Most of the focus countries import key technologies such as solar panels and collectors, wind turbines and efficient heat stoves. Investing in domestic supply chains can improve air quality and health, create added value and boost economic growth. Distributed (decentralized) renewables, which remain largely untapped in the region, could help overcome energy poverty and foster economic growth. They can empower stakeholders (such as municipalities, communities and citizens), increase gender equality and strengthen resiliency to shocks such as natural disasters and conflicts.
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