Renewable energy is a crucial component of U.S. energy policy and is key to addressing the issues of climate change, energy security and economic development, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The group plans to hammer home that message to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Council on Renewable Energy Strategy during upcoming meetings in Washington, D.C.
According to an earlier IRENA report released earlier this year, the U.S. can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix to 27% by 2030 from 7.5% today. With the current policies in place, IRENA says the U.S. can only reach 10% renewable energy by 2030.
‘The U.S. has tremendous renewable energy potential, along with the culture, skills base and financing opportunities needed to become a global center of renewable energy thought and innovation,’ says Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA's director general. ‘Our research finds that the U.S. could install significantly higher amounts of renewables – and that it can do so affordably. Even in a country with cheap shale gas such as the U.S., renewable energy is still cost-competitive and reduces air pollution, enhances energy security, benefits the economy, and mitigates climate change.’
The report is part of IRENA's renewable energy road map, which provides a plan to double the share of renewable energy in the world's energy mix by 2030 and determines the potential for the U.S. and other countries to scale up renewable energy in the energy system, including power, industry, buildings and the transport sector.