G7 tasks Irena to track group’s contribution to global renewable tripling target

File photo of Irena director-general Francesco La Camera. Photo: Supplied

File photo of Irena director-general Francesco La Camera. Photo: Supplied

Published May 2, 2024


Group of Seven (G7) leaders on Tuesday tasked the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) to track and monitor the group’s collective contribution toward the global renewable tripling target by 2030.

South Africa is one of the 45 African countries that are members of Irena.

The target was established by the UAE Consensus at COP28 last November, aligning global climate ambitions with Irena’s 1.5°C pathway, mapped out by the Agency’s World Energy Transitions Outlook.

Irena director-general Francesco La Camera, who was attending the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment, said in a statement: “Trust and transparency go hand in hand.

“Irena will respond swiftly to the request by G7 members to track the group’s progress toward the global target to triple renewable power capacity by 2030.”

Camera said the G7 was making notable strides in accelerating solar PV deployment and there was a commitment to the development of offshore wind.

The G7 committed to increase system flexibility through grid reinforcement, in line with Irena analysis of key metrics that suggested efforts needed to be accelerated.

The group also called for the significant expansion of energy storage capacity, by more than six-fold by 2030, from 230 GW in 2022 – within the range of Irena’s recommendations for energy storage capacity by 2030.

It also called on international organisations, including Irena, to continue their work on industrial decarbonisation particularly standards and technology development for hard-to-abate sectors.

G7 countries also recognised the urgent need to increase the group’s efforts in developing countries, committing to supporting the Accelerated Partnership for Renewable Energy in Africa (Apra).

Kenya and Irena will convene the first Apra Investment Forum in September 2024 to accelerate the deployment of renewables-based energy systems and green industrialisation in Apra member countries.

Africa opportunities

Another report released this week, The energy transition in Africa: Opportunities for international collaboration with a focus on the G7, identifies priority areas for potential collaboration between the G7 and Africa to advance the continent’s energy transition.

This as Africa receives less than 2% of global investments in renewables over the past two decades.

At the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2023, African heads of state and government re-emphasised the economic development priorities outlined in Agenda 2063, the continent’s strategic framework to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development.

The declaration calls on the international community to support its goal to increase Africa’s renewable generation capacity from 56 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 to at least 300GW by 2030 – an even more ambitious goal than the global pledge to triple renewable energy capacity agreed upon at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference – both to address energy poverty and increase the supply of cost-effective clean energy for industry.

The report said the G7 could be pivotal in leading the international community in support of the Nairobi Declaration.

The Italian G7 presidency has requested the Irena’s support in delineating priority areas for the G7-Africa partnership, reflecting the following overarching goals:

Ensure any actions are in harmony with the region’s goals – as outlined in Agenda 2063, the AU’s climate strategy, and the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action. Yhis will be critical to maintain fairness as a central tenet of any support.

Build on existing initiatives – acknowledging and learning from, the work that has been done to drive the energy transition in Africa will be key to avoid duplication.

Highlight the importance of finance – Irena finds that the flow of public money into the African energy sector has declined, and necessary conditions for low-cost finance are not in place. This must be reversed.

Ensure local ownership and value creation – actions must support countries to develop their own infrastructure, green industries, enabling policies and institutional capacity.


A modelling exercise of the energy transition conducted in 2022 found that Irena’s energy transition scenario would create 26 million more jobs economy-wide in Africa by 2050 than under a business-as usual approach, significantly outweighing fossil-fuel job losses in the industry.

Renewables jobs ranged from procurement and manufacturing to sales and distribution, installation and connection, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning. Jobs will also be created in the upstream side of the supply chain for transition minerals and materials, as well as in essential support services such as administrative services, education, financing, policy making, research and development and transport.