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Research meets Practice: International cooperation for sustainable development
Research meets Practice: International cooperation for sustainable development

Wednesday, October 17, 2012  Bonn, Germany

This past 17 October IRENA had the pleasure of participating in a GIZ event: The uphill battle: New challenges for low-cost renewable energies.

Part of a speaker series called Research meets Practice the event addressed the uphill battle faced by developing countries in addressing electricity market design barriers, regulations and financing models to the greater deployment of variable renewable energy technologies, and grid stability and supply security. 

Attended by many across industry and research sectors, speakers Michael Taylor (Cost Analyst, International Renewable Energy Agency Innovation and Technology Centre, Bonn), who researches costs and technology trends in the area of renewable energies, and Dr Bernhard Bösl (Senior Advisor Energy, GIZ) answered the following key questions: Are renewables really a viable alternative for developing and emerging countries? And if so, what is the role of the international community and German international cooperation, especially considering the German ‘Energiewende’, in ensuring sustainable development of the energy sector in other countries? What successful forms of collaboration exist between researchers and practitioners, and how can these be used to catalyse the deployment of renewables?

'The recent cost reductions for renewable energy technologies, particularly solar PV have the potential to have a profound impact on developing countries’ economic development... IRENA’s analysis of 8000 renewable energy projects around the world clearly shows that renewables are the economic solution off grid but also increasingly for grid supply' states Michael Taylor, Senior Analyst, IRENA.

Video courtesy of GIZ. For more information on GIZ's Research meets Practice events please visit them online at

Advanced biofuels to be competitive with fossil fuels by 2020.       Solar PV module prices of around USD 0.75/Watt makes PV the economic solution for 1.3 billion people.       Electric vehicle battery packs to fall 40% to 55% by 2020 to cost USD 300-400/kWh in 2020.       Some of today's first-of-a-kind commercial plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles are economic today.       Road transport accounted for 76% of total transport demand in 2010.       Biodiesel consumption grew 42% per year between 2000-2010.       Feedstock costs account for 60-80% of total conventional ethanol production costs.       The levelised cost of electricity of wind, solar PV, CSP and biomass is declining.       Electricity from hydropower, geothermal and biomass where good resources remain are the cheapest way to generate electricity.       Renewables are increasingly the most economic solution for new grid connected capacity.       Wind turbine prices have been declining since 2009.       Renewables are becoming the economic choice for off-grid and mini-grids.       Wind turbine prices in China in 2012 were USD 620/kW.       The installed cost of wind is typically lower than coal-fired power plants in OECD countries.