Last year in Glasgow, world leaders gathered for the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) to discuss how to “keep 1.5°C alive.” They left the gathering with renewed vigour for climate action, and a set of fresh climate pledges in the form of the Glasgow Pact. The bar of expectation for the following year was set high, but the events of the past 12 months cannot be ignored.
The simultaneous interlocking crises the world faced last year – from the war in Ukraine, the food and energy crises it caused, and the rapid escalation of extreme weather events – have made it difficult to remain hopeful and focused on climate action.
In these challenging times, rather than defeatism, this is the exact moment when a solutions-oriented mindset is essential. Renewable energy is one of the solutions, and on a planet bathed in sunlight every minute of every day – the prime solution is solar.
That’s why next week, on the global stage of COP27, the message and mission of the Global Solar Council (GSC) – “voice of the world’s solar energy industry” – is so important.
Solar rays provide one of the most abundant sources of energy on the planet. The power provided by the total solar energy hitting our planet in only one hour is more than enough to meet the entire planet’s energy needs for a year. But in order to capture its potential in decarbonising society fully, we first need to find ways to scale-up the world’s ability to harness and store its power more efficiently.
The GSC envisions solar energy as “the leading solution to the world’s energy needs,” and since their foundation in 2015 at COP21 in Paris, have made it their mission to promote “rapid adoption of solar energy globally.”
The clean-energy transition must be accelerated worldwide as a priority, and the Global Solar Council are in poll position to make it happen through solar.
What is the Global Solar Council?
The GSC – a non-profit association based in Washington D.C. – represent the world’s leading solar energy organisations across five continents. As a member of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, its objectives are fully aligned with the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.
Through encouraging rapid development of the solar market, job creation within the sector, and global education on the potential of solar energy, the GSC’s objective is to promote the large-scale implementation of solar energy as a staple across the world.
In line with the International Energy Agency’s recommendations for “Net Zero by 2050,” the GSC are on a mission to accelerate the clean-energy transition urgently, supporting the installation of rooftop solar panels on 100 million households by 2030.
In order to facilitate this solar energy shift, the GSC urge policymakers to:
- Recognize solar energy is a low-cost, reliable and clean source
- Utilise solar energy to alleviate poverty
- Enhance energy security through solar energy
- Build local solar supply chains to anchor the energy transition
- Develop, implement and promote internationally recognized solar energy standards
From the 6th – 18th of November, 2022📅, @GSolarCouncil will be attending @COP27P in partnership with @GWEC.
Be sure to drop by our pavilion in the 🔵blue zone & keep up to date on our activities via our website:
▶️ https://t.co/2GHHMa2ba2#globalsolarCOP27 pic.twitter.com/mBd29OGREY
— GlobalSolarCouncil (@GSolarCouncil) October 28, 2022
GSC’s COP27 manifesto
The GSC will be a part of the Wind and Solar Pavilion at COP27, a renewable energy section co-hosted with the Global Wind Energy Council. The two associations will use their platform at the conference to maximise engagement with the global community on the far-reaching potential of wind and solar energy, taking the opportunity to highlight their “clear policy statements to Government stakeholders.”
The sessions hosted by the GSC at COP27 will cover a broad range of important topics, including the benefits of moving towards solar energy sources, as well as the hurdles we may face in this shift.
Central to all talks will be a focus on three core elements that must be prioritised in the clean-energy transition – the planet, people and prosperity.
Planet, People and Prosperity
Across the two weeks of COP27, the Global Solar Council will host a variety of talks, roundtables, networking events and virtual forums.
Some of the topics we can expect to see discussed at these sessions are…
Environment and biodiversity
As the deployment of solar energy is scaled up across the world, there will of course be a need for more space and land to house it.
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The GSC will address sustainable management of this rapid increase in demand, and discuss how to reconcile the expanding solar infrastructure with the economy and environment, preserving prosperity and biodiversity in the process.
Empowering people with solar
The GSC’s global “#solar2people” campaign aims to engage people worldwide with the potential of solar energy for today and the future. The council will teach people how to become energy independent and make a difference in the “race to net-zero,” demonstrating how they can proactively reduce the size of their own carbon footprint by adopting solar energy sources in their homes, cities and workplaces.
This initiative is timely and ingenious, because as the prices of oil, gas and coal are predicted to rise by 40%, 50% and 80% respectively in 2022, it is essential to empower people to “become their own energy provider,” reducing both their energy bills and environmental impact.
Subject areas covered by the GSC’s empowerment campaign include:
- Benefits for the individual
- Benefits for the grid
- Benefits for Society
- Benefits for the Planet
- Cost trends and forecasts – how the energy crisis affects solar energy prices
Continuing growth in the #solar sector will also lead to increased #economic growth! The PV is set to continue to be the largest #empower in the renewables #sector and is set to grow to 20 million jobs!
See more about how #SolarPV can help people here 👉🏻 https://t.co/b0NLyG3M8z pic.twitter.com/bMJKHjJ5pC
— GlobalSolarCouncil (@GSolarCouncil) August 11, 2022
Solar infrastructure around the world
Acceleration towards solar as the main source of energy worldwide is by no means a small feat – it’s going to require intergovernmental cooperation and a united global approach.
The GSC will explain how scaling-out solar energy might look within different parts of the world such as Africa, South America, the Mediterranean, and Asia, discussing the necessary legal framework, financial models, best practices, climate pledges, and pilot studies required for the expansion.
Our global society is clearly over-dependent on fossil fuels, but due to mounting geopolitical instability, the unprecedented energy crisis, and escalation of the climate crisis – this dependency is harder than ever to overcome.
As energy security hangs in the balance, in order to secure a prosperous future for all, there is an urgent need for decarbonisation, and the GSC will use the COP27 platform to highlight how renewable-based technologies such as solar energy could pave the way to a brighter future.
They will also reinforce the urgency with which these technologies must be deployed, calling for urgent action from policymakers in terms of prioritising solar development pipelines, supply chains and investment.
New solar technology & best practices
Technological developments in the solar industry will also be featured within the GSC’s talks.
They will reveal the potential of new solar technology in providing power to off-grid communities, establishing smart solar cities and grids, and will also outline the best practices in terms of safety and certification for trusted solar installers.
At the biggest climate summit of the year, the message and mission of the Global Solar Council cannot be understated – solar energy is the solution.
Keep in mind that as a pioneering organisation of change, their recommendations and call to action could easily come across as ambitious. But if you look at the current state of the world more clearly, acknowledging the unfolding energy, climate, and geopolitical crises we face, the reality of the situation becomes a little clearer – the GSC’s advocacy for a shift towards solar energy is not aspirational, it’s imperative.
Impakter and the Global Solar Council want to know, are you “ready to brighten our future?”
By 2050, Earth's population will hit 10 billion! In order to reach net-zero by then, solar & wind will have to meet 70% of the power needs☀️
Adopting rooftop PV can help reach net-zero & create a healthier atmosphere🌍
Read more👉https://t.co/HTwDXUPEij#solar2people pic.twitter.com/xpzo7dyD7t
— GlobalSolarCouncil (@GSolarCouncil) September 9, 2022
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Long Island Solar Farm. Featured Photo Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory/Flickr