Renewable Energy Policies in a Time of Transition

  • News
  • by IEA, IRENA, REN21
(Click on image to download publication)

The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) published their first joint report on Renewable Energy Policies. The report outlines the options available to policy makers to support the development of renewables. An updated policy classification and terminology provides a global reference for policy instruments. The final chapter, “The Way Forward” proposes a holistic approach for policy making.


Policy frameworks need to take a systems approach with more fully integrated policies across sectors if we are serious about achieving the energy transition. To do this:

  • measures are needed to support the integration of variable renewable energy
  • policies need to be more comprehensive than those devised for the energy sector alone


Renewables have experienced a remarkable evolution over the past decade now forming the cutting edge –with energy efficiency– of a global energy transition. The growth in the deployment of renewable energy technologies now outpaces that of any other energy source.


But progress has not been homogenous. Uneven uptake, barriers ranging from technology and financial risks, and integration challenges in markets with high shares of renewables persist.

Source: REN21


Main takeaways for heating & cooling:

  • Heating & cooling recognised as key for the global energy transition – and it’s the first sector chapter in the publication!
  • There are 191 references to heating throughout the report
  • District heating is the top cluster for renewable heat solutions
  • Better strategies are needed to achieve renewable energy targets, coupled with energy efficiency measures
  • The broader energy system approach & sector coupling becoming increasingly important
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