ISA’s Regional Meeting Charts Course Towards Solar-powered Future
The 5th Meeting of the Asia Pacific Region of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) convened global energy leaders in Abu Dhabi, to advance solar energy deployment, in alignment with the COP28 Presidency's vision.
The urgent need to develop and deploy cutting-edge solar power solutions at scale, upgrade infrastructure and grids, and triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 was emphasized during the Meeting, with speakers underscoring the transformative actions needed to keep the world on a 1.5°C pathway and address the challenges posed by climate change.
Dialogues at the ISA’s 5th Meeting of the Asia Pacific Region, which attracted high-level participation of several small island and developing states (SIDS), were centered around mobilizing support for the COP28 UAE Presidency’s commitment to fast-tracking a just energy transition.
Key areas of focus included the promotion of climate mitigation technologies, enhancing socioeconomic opportunities, and ensuring no one gets left behind in the journey towards a sustainable future.
Delivering the keynote address, H.E Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “Solar power plays a pivotal role in shaping the future energy landscape, driving sustainable development, and combating climate change.
"As we set our sights on COP28, it is evident that solar energy is not just a part of the solution, it is the key to unlocking a low-carbon future.
"By harnessing the potential of solar technologies, we can make significant strides towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and charting a course to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”
He added: “Hosting the ISA’s 5th Regional Meeting in Abu Dhabi reinforces our commitment to mobilising global support for transformative solar solutions.
"Through international collaboration and cooperation with key partners like the ISA, we can help enhance energy access and uplift communities on the frontlines of climate change."
The pressing issue of climate finance was also addressed at the Meeting. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s ‘World Energy Transitions Outlook’ (WETO), US$150 trillion of investments in renewable energy solutions is needed to keep global warming below 1.5°C by 2050.
While global investment across all energy transition technologies reached a record high of US$1.3 trillion in 2022, annual investment must more than quadruple to stay on the 1.5°C pathway.
Director General of the International Solar Alliance, Dr Ajay Mathur: “We are glad to be hosting the 5th Asia Pacific meeting in UAE, a country that has one of the most affordable solar electricity worth only 2 and a half cent kilo-watt hour. This is a promising example of the future of solar energy in the Asia Pacific."
To transition to clean energy and ensure universal access to energy, the world needs to invest USD12.5 trillion in renewable energy by 2030, but current global solar investments are only approximately 10 percent of what is needed.
With the global cumulative solar PV installed capacity surpassing 1 terawatt (TW) and solar PV becoming the cheapest source of new electricity in many regions, the ISA emphasised the potential of increased solar deployment to drive further cost reductions.
The industry's concentration, however, calls for more countries to increase their manufacturing output to promote global resilience and sustainability in solar supply chains.
Access to energy remains a major challenge, particularly in climate frontline economies. The ISA acknowledged that 9% of the global population lacked access to electricity in 2021, and concerted efforts are required to achieve universal energy access by 2030.