KIREC Seoul 2019 is fast approaching and we still have many things to do. This is why part of the REN21 team went to Seoul (Republic of Korea) last week to advance the planning of this year’s International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC). For the first time in its history, the IREC will be hosted by both a country and a municipality (Seoul).
The REN21 team met with several actors – all working to advance the energy transition -during the weeks: governments, international organisations, industries, NGOs and civil society.
All of the activities the team participated in contributed to shaping the KIREC Seoul 2019 programme. The focus is to reflect on the drivers and opportunities for increasing renewable energy uptake in the Republic of Korea and the Asia-Pacific region. One such was the International RE100 Forum where it was discussed the need for power purchase agreements in Korea, in order to reach its RE targets. The team also had the chance to formally introduce KIREC Seoul 2019 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to over 60 foreign ambassadors from countries all around the world.
Finally, a press conference was held on the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report (GSR) which was launched on June 17, with over 15 different press organisations attending. Rana Adib presented the GSR and highlighted, “political interest has increased in the power sector with long-term vision, regulation, technology and pricing competitiveness. Yet, to be more serious about climate change and sustainable development, we need an energy transition not only an electricity transition”.
She also provided insights on how the global trend can be applicable in the Korean context. As she said during the press conference, “rich opportunities for renewables exists in Korea”. A number of drivers can be identified in the country including, air pollution, climate change, sustainable development, energy security, trade and industrial standards, etc.
“Government support is important, but at the same time we need to create the right conditions and environment to give renewables priority access to the grid”, explained the Executive Secretary while making the formal presentation the KIREC Seoul 2019 to foreign ambassadors.
All in all, through the time spent in Seoul, one thing was clear – the country’s tradition of innovation provides a real opportunity to make the Republic of Korea a leader in increasing the uptake of renewables across the power, heating, cooling and transport sectors.
KIREC Seoul 2019 is the first IREC to be co-organised jointly by a national and municipal government, underlining the importance of cities in driving renewable energy uptake and their importance in implementing national policies.
The City of Seoul will share its renewable ambitions, solutions to spur renewable transition, innovation to increase renewable uptake for energy transformation, thus creating more efficient, sustainable and secure urban environment. Registration is open until 16 September.