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Majority of countries setting renewables targets

Number of countries setting targets quadruples to 164 in 10 years.

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IRENA, Renewables, News

The number of countries setting renewable energy targets has quadrupled over the past ten years, a new report has found.

Since 2005, 164 countries worldwide have now adopted renewable energy targets, up from 43 in 2005, according to the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Two more countries, the UAE and Canada, have set renewable energy targets at the sub-national level.

“Renewable energy targets have emerged as a popular mechanism to set national and regional economies on the path towards a more secure and sustainable energy future,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “They provide an important signal to the industry and can help to align stakeholders by creating a clearer, common vision for the development of the energy sector.”

Developing and emerging economies are leading the adoption of targets, accounting for 131 of the 164 countries with renewable energy targets, the report says.

The majority of countries focus on the electricity sector – 150 countries have renewable electricity targets – but commitments in other sectors are also on the rise.

The number of countries setting targets for the heating/cooling sector increased from two countries in 2005 to 47 today. Similarly, renewable transport targets have more than doubled from 27 countries in 2005 to 59 today.

“Governments are increasingly adopting renewable energy targets to meet multiple objectives including energy security, environmental sustainability and socio-economic benefits,” said Mr. Amin. “The rapid growth of targets is just one more signal of the world’s ongoing shift towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.”

While underscoring the importance of renewable energy targets, the report recognises that they are not sufficient in and of themselves, the report says.

In order to be seen as credible by investors and society and to provide a reliable trajectory for the future evolution of the energy mix, they need to be accompanied by a clear strategy and backed by specific policies and measures.

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