Large-scale deployment of renewable energy can create jobs, increase incomes, improve trade balances, and contribute to industrial development—if the right policies and frameworks are in place. That’s according to a new report released by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group. The report, econValue – The Socio-economic Benefits of Solar and Wind Energy, analyses the circumstances under which renewable energy can boost economies and benefit communities by studying the effects of solar and wind energy on the environment, economy, and society.
Produced by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the report provides a framework to help policy makers analyse the various economic opportunities that may be offered by solar and wind sector development and the potential of various policy instruments to best realise those opportunities.
“As many economies are still recovering from the global financial crisis, renewable energy offers an opportunity to grow economies, improve energy security, enhance energy access, and mitigate climate change,” said IRENA Director-GeneralAdnan Z. Amin.
Policy makers around the world are exploring ways to stimulate social and economic growth through the renewable energy sector, and this report is an important step to support them on this path.
The report focuses on key macroeconomic variables for assessing economic impact—including value added, gross domestic product, welfare, and employment—and looks at opportunities at each stage of the renewable energy life cycle, from project planning and manufacturing to maintenance and decommissioning.
The report also analyses policies that stimulate the deployment of renewables, as well as those policies that help build a domestic industry by encouraging investment and technology transfer; strengthening firm-level capabilities; and promoting education, training, research, and innovation. Case studies are used to support key recommendations for policy options to maximise value creation. Finally, the report provides guidance on the selection of tools that can be used to assess socio-economic impacts of renewable energy deployment.
The report is a key deliverable of the Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group’s econValue project.
An initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, the Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group works to lower the costs of solar and wind energy in regions around the world.
The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating governments and other stakeholders.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a center of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource, and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.