The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has teamed up with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and more than 100 renewable energy organisations to issue a joint call for action urging policy-makers to prioritise green growth as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans.
The recommendations cover a range of priority actions to ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery, promoting renewable solutions as well as the need for market and policy frameworks that support storage and flexibility - services which are provided by sustainable hydropower.
The call for action says: “To provide long-term policy certainty in this time of crisis, governments must consider affirming existing and planned support schemes, as well as continuing to implement appropriate market and policy frameworks that support grid development, storage and flexibility, and other infrastructure critical to support a higher penetration of renewable energy.
“Permitting and siting approvals should be fast-tracked so that the renewable energy industry can plan ahead and protect its workforce.”
Last week IRENA published its 2020 Global Renewables Outlook, which called for stimulus and recovery packages that will “accelerate the shift to sustainable, decarbonised economies and resilient inclusive societies”. Interconnected hydropower was one of the technologies identified to aid recovery.
In the joint statement, the IRENA Coalition for Action call on governments to:
- Revisit deadlines for renewable energy projects that face contractual obligations for near-term delivery.
- Designate the renewable energy industry and related infrastructure as a critical and essential sector.
- Affirm and extend policies promoting renewable energy solutions, both centralised and decentralised.
- Prioritise renewable energy in any stimulus measures and commit to phasing out support for fossil fuels.
- Provide public financial support to safeguard the industry and mobilise private investment in renewable energy.
- Enhance the role of renewable energy in industrial policies.
- Revise labour and education policies to foster a just transition and help workers make the shift into renewable energy jobs.
- Strengthen international co-operation and action to accelerate renewable energy deployment in line with global climate and sustainability objectives.