Solar Energy at COP26

Posted on November 24, 2021

The COP26 Summit 2021 was a conference attended by representatives from almost all of the world’s countries. It’s purpose was to once again shine a light on the major climate change issues of our time and look for ways to collaboratively tackle these issues internationally. Essentially the event was a chance for nations to revisit pledges previously made in the 2015 Paris Agreement which aimed to limit current global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial age levels.

COP26 was a way for countries to support a global effort to transition away from traditional, but environmentally detrimental energy sources like coal and make commitments to begin moving towards a reliance on cleaner energy sources instead.

Solar energy was just one of the clean, sustainable energy sources highlighted at COP26. In this article, we look at the major solar energy talking points from the event.
Targets Set for the Sun
It’s all well and good for these kinds of talks to happen, but what hard details do they yield to make the world understand what is required and how to take action?

Researchers from the Bank of America provided some figures to literally help people put their money where their mouth is.

Amongst other renewable energy sources, they specifically noted a 14X capacity of solar power to aid in decarbonising the planet by 2050. Looking at the short term ambitions for solar capacity, they noted that there could be an expected 44 gigawatts of “utility scale solar” coming online in 2022, a forecast nearly double 2021’s estimated capacity.

This is welcome news to those not only keeping an eye on the general progress of solar energy output, but also how they can invest into it to directly support developments with solar energy.

Green Grids Initiative
The Green Grids initiative was high up on the agenda at COP26, touting a “One Sun, One World and One Grid” transnational solar grid which will help deliver more solar energy to the world beyond national borders.

The initiative plans to expedite the construction of large-scale solar grids across the globe, with nation’s coming together with land and resources to facilitate this.
While this was unveiled by the governments of India and UK at the event, the idea for the project was actually co-created by a New Zealander, Nicholas Dunlop, who is now the Security General of the global Climate Parliament.

£217m Turkish Solar Farm
Spurred on by COP26’s newly defined goals, the UK government recently pledged £217m of public money towards the construction of a new 1.35 gigawatt solar farm being built by Kalyon Group, in Karapinar, Turkey.

The move shows the UK government taking firm action on supporting renewable energy, with the farm expected to power up to 2 million households in Turkey. Not only is this a step in the right direction for cleaning up the environment, but it also shores up economic confidence in a greener future. The project is expected to deliver 100 more British jobs for the UK plant where some of the parts will be assembled.

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