The Energy Transition is More Than Electricity

The smarter E Podcast Episode 180 | June 27, 2024 | Language: Englisch

The expansion of renewable energies is booming worldwide. Power capacity additions reached a new benchmark of 473 gigawatts in 2023. But energy demand is still on the rise and is not yet fully met by renewables. Furthermore, renewable energy growth is most noticeable in the power sector (electricity generation), whereas critical energy carriers such as renewable heat and renewable-based fuels remain neglected. As a result, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by a further 1.1 percent in 2023.

What are the latest trends in energy supply? What do we need to further accelerate the energy transition in general and in the heating and transport sector in particular? And how can we finance all this, particularly in developing countries? We talk about this with Rana Adib, Executive Director of REN21.


  • 02:30 The Renewables 2024 Global Status Report consists of five modules. At The smarter E Europe you have presented the third module “Energy Supply”. What are its key findings and trends?
  • 07:20 86 percent of global power capacity additions last year were renewable. But electricity is only a small part of the story. Nearly half of all energy consumption is in the form of direct heat, followed by fuels with a 30 percent share. The progress in decarbonisation here is alarmingly limited. Why is that?
  • 09:36 How can this be changed, especially in the building and transport sector?
  • 13:01 The 473 GW of renewable power capacity added in 2023 was a new record. However, this is still far short of the 1,000 GW needed annually to meet global climate and sustainable development commitments. How can we accelerate the pace of the energy transition?
  • 16:55 How can we speed up grid expansion and facilitate the financing of projects?
  • 19:18 What is needed for a real 24/7 renewable energy supply? How can we compensate times of low renewable power production and high demand in winter or at night, for example?

About The smarter E Podcast

The smarter E podcast is all about the current trends and developments in a renewable, decentralized and digital energy industry. Our moderators Tobias Bücklein and Zackes Brustik welcome and interview personalities who shape our industry and drive developments forward. A new episode is published every Thursday.

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About Rana Adib and REN21

Rana Adib, Executive Director of REN21

Rana Adib is the Executive Director of REN21, the only global policy network of renewable energy actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry. She is also the chair of SLOCAT, an international multi-stakeholder partnership enabling knowledge and action for sustainable, low carbon transport. Rana comes from a background in private industry and applied research in the areas of renewable energy, energy access, waste management as well as waste to energy. With her cross-functional profile, she is championing pathways to a renewables-based world.

REN21 is the only global policy network made up of renewable energy actors from science, academia, governments, non-governmental organisations and industry across all renewable energy sectors. Our community is at the heart of our data and reporting activities. All our knowledge activities, including the GSR 2024, follow a crowdsourcing process that has allowed REN21 to be globally recognised as a neutral data and knowledge broker.

Since the GSR’s first release in 2005, REN21 has worked with thousands of contributors to spotlight the ongoing developments and emerging trends shaping the future of renewables. Producing this annual report is a collaborative effort of hundreds of experts and volunteers who contribute data, review chapters and co-author the report contents.

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