By Sebastine Obasi
There is hope for a better global environment asGE and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have agreed to collaborate on a plan which will support both climate change and energy security. The agreement was signed by Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, and Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer of GE at the just concluded 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27) in Egypt.
Through this collaboration, GE and IRENA have agreed to cooperate across several specific pillars including de-carbonization, thought leadership, adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. COP27 provided the right context and platform for the agreement to move forward.
Speaking at the event, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENAstated: “Any near-term shortfall in action will further reduce the chance of keeping 1.5°C within reach. We are acutely aware that scaling up renewable energy investments and de-carbonization technologies is more important today than ever. Our collaboration with GE underlines how partnerships within the industry can and must serve our mission of supporting countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. Together with forward-looking multinationals such as GE, we hope to accelerate progress and fuel global ambitions to achieve net zero.”
“GE knows that partnership is critical to solving climate change and energy security. We are thus honoured to partner with IRENA as a key stakeholder to achieve the shared goal of a just and ambitious energy transition,” said Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer, GE. “As a company whose equipment helps generate one-third of the world’s electricity, GE is rising to the challenge of innovating technology to de-carbonize the energy sector while making energy more reliable, affordable, and sustainable for the 750 million people who lack access.”
The US Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources Assistant Secretary Geoffrey R. Pyatt stated, “The United States strongly supports private sector-led industrial de-carbonization efforts, and we look forward to working closely with GE and other cutting edge industry players to advance these initiatives.”
Following the signing of the agreement, GE and IRENA will explore how to jointly support de-carbonizationefforts in critical markets and sectors, including onshore and offshore wind, bio energy with CCUS, hydro, green hydrogen, energy storage, electrification, and the latest grid modernization technologies. The organizations plan to collaborate on identifying thought leadership, events, and knowledge exchange opportunities with strategic stakeholders and partners to promote the continued growth of the renewable sector.
Speaking on the agreement, Mohammed Mijindadi, President, GE Nigeria said “This agreement is a welcome development for Nigeria with its ambition to diversify the nation’s energy mix. GE’s Renewable Energy business is providing technology and services that can help enhance the country’s renewable energy generating capacity, improve and optimize the grid infrastructure, as well as leverage its advanced digital service offerings for cutting edge transformation”.
The partners are expected to consider technical cooperation, exploring collaboration on technical solutions and capacity-building that support regional and country-level stakeholders.