Global Solar Council calls for ‘sense of urgency’ in 2021 to accelerate energy transition

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Lightsource BP’s 260MW Impact Solar project in Texas was connected to the grid in January. Image: Lightsource BP.

The Global Solar Council (GSC) is forecasting for 2021 to be “transformational” for solar power, as the sector builds on momentum from governments’ efforts to drive a green post-pandemic recovery and growing investor confidence in the PV sector.

As the GSC pushes for an accelerated global transition to 100% renewables, the body said there should be systemic changes at the regulatory, financial and legislative levels, as well as individual actions to adopt green technology.

“Given PV’s potential to lead a just transition to a low-carbon economy, we need to see the same kind of urgency on solar power as we have seen in developing coronavirus vaccines,” said GSC chairman, José Donoso. “Unlike with vaccines, though, we don’t have to create new solar solutions but work together to speed widescale implementation: PV technologies are clean, readily available and the cheapest way to invest in power generation in many parts of the world.”

GSC, which represents solar associations and corporations around the world, said its global agenda for 2021 kicks off in March with a webinar in collaboration with Worldwide Carbon Price – a new organisation aimed at promoting effective carbon pricing as a way to finance the recovery from the pandemic and speed the energy transition – and will culminate at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland in November.

“Solar power is the leading force for climate action today and should benefit from a level playing field. This is why we have partnered in founding and leading Worldwide Carbon Price, connecting all carbon pricing initiatives globally and ensuring a common set of principles,” said Gianni Chianetta, CEO of GSC.

GSC said its 2021 action plan will centre around a virtual forum to explore the prospects of solar from two points of view: looking at how PV is making a green recovery a reality and enabling opportunities for sustainable development; and examining policies, pricing and permitting practices needed to drive a global decarbonisation sprint.

Before the COP26 talks, GSC’s three emerging market task forces – which are facilitating the adoption of solar power and disseminating best practice approaches in Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America – will share their work in dedicated webinars.

Following a 2020 in which investments in global solar jumped 12% despite coronavirus impacts, BloombergNEF is forecasting new solar installations to reach as much as 194GW this year.

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