KIREC Seoul 2019 will be the first IREC jointly hosted by a national and a local government. Cities increasingly are strong drivers in renewable energy deployment, adopting some of the most ambitious targets for renewables globally. Local governments have legislative and purchasing power that they can use to implement change in their own operations and in the wider community, becoming beacons for change. Local implementation can support national policies thus ensuring vertical policy integration which essential to the renewable energy transformation. KIREC Seoul 2019 demonstrates the central roles of cities in the energy transition.
Today, evidence clearly indicates that renewable power is here to stay. But current trends show that bolder policy decisions are needed across all sectors of energy end-use to make our energy systems sustainable. The lack of ambitious and sustained policies to drive decarbonisation in the heating, cooling and transport sectors means that countries are not maximising the benefits of the transition – including cleaner air and energy security – for their populations. In Asia in particular, fast industrialisation, rapid economic growth and the ongoing need for higher electrification have meant that decarbonisation in the region remains a challenge, and have kept renewable energy and energy efficiency policy measures firmly in the spotlight.
While hosted in Seoul, Korea, KIREC Seoul 2019 has relevance for the region as a whole. Asia and the Pacific is the fastest growing region in the world, requiring increasing energy supplies to fuel its rapid pace of economic expansion. The sheer geographical, diversity and varied institutional capacity offers a huge market potential for renewable energy, and the considerable renewable energy resources in the region can go a long way to meeting expanding demand. Since 2000 renewable energy capacity in the region has grown six-fold through accelerated deployment of wind and solar technologies, complementing existing hydropower. Renewable energy presents an opportunity for the region to be a leader in the energy transition.
A key input to KIREC Seoul 2019 is the upcoming Asia and the Pacific Renewable Energy Status Report 2019, produced in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP). The report presents the current status of renewable energy in the region by examining the current policy landscape, investment flows, and documenting how renewables are increasing energy access. The report will be launched at KIREC Seoul 2019 22 October.
KIREC Seoul 2019 will demonstrate the synergistic links between national policies, cities, and markets, as well as the role of citizens and innovation. On 22 October, 25 organisations from around the world will present what they are doing to drive the energy transition. REN21 is proud to partner with South Korea on this international event. You can find further details about the conference here: http://www.kirec2019.kr/
KIREC Seoul 2019 builds on Bonn2004, the landmark international conference that inaugurated the IREC series where a “coalition of the willing” come together with one objective in mind: to support and accelerate the development of renewable energy. This is the underlying approach of every IREC starting in Berlin (Bonn2004) and continuing through Beijing (BIREC 2005), Washington D.C (WIREC 2008), Delhi (DIREC 2010), Abu Dhabi (ADIREC 2013), Cape Town (SAIREC 2015), Mexico City (MEXIREC 2017).