Count-down to SPIREC, the turning point towards a renewables-based global economy

Count-down to SPIREC, the turning point towards a renewables-based global economy

14.02.2023: • Organised jointly by the Spanish Government (IDAE) and REN21, it will bring together more than 1,000 decision makers from all parts of the world and representing governments, academia, civil society and private sector to jointly address the uptake of re

•    Organised jointly by the Spanish Government (IDAE) and REN21, it will bring together more than 1,000 decision makers from all parts of the world and representing governments, academia, civil society and private sector to jointly address the uptake of renewable energy.

•    Top speakers like Spanish Vice-president Teresa Ribera, the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, the Director General of IRENA, Francesco La Camera, and Achim Steiner from UNDP, among others, will debate the challenges and opportunities of a new model that would integrate renewables across our economies and societies to improve energy access and energy security.

Against the backdrop of a crushing global energy crisis triggered by heavy dependence on fossil fuels, over 1,000 decision makers from all parts of the world are gathering from 20 to 23 February 2023 in Madrid, Spain for the Spanish International Renewable Energy Conference (SPIREC). Representing governments, academia, civil society and private sector, participants have one clear objective: galvanise the transformation towards a robust and resilient energy system based on renewable energy.

Jointly organised by REN21 and the Government of Spain, a world leader in the energy transition, SPIREC comes at a strategic moment when the world is caught between the competing challenges of rapidly finding sustainable solutions to a dangerously deteriorating climate situation and ensuring a sufficient, stable and affordable energy supply.

According to REN21’s latest Renewables 2022 Global Status Report (GSR2022), the growing final energy consumption (+4% in 2021) was mostly met by fossil fuels, resulting in the largest surge in carbon dioxide emissions in history (+ 2 billion tonnes worldwide in 2021). This alarming condition is aggravated by whopping government spending on fossil fuel subsidies, amounting to USD 5,9 trillion in 2020 and seriously insufficient investments in renewables.

Amid the current global energy context, the celebration of SPIREC “must mark a historic turning point in how we think and how we act about renewable energy in all economic areas. We have a collective responsibility to turn the current crisis into an opportunity to position renewables as a system that guarantees energy for all people, leaving no one behind," said Joan Groizard, General Director of IDAE, in the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

Groizard pointed out that countries like Spain, with ambitious climate policies and a clear commitment to renewable energies, are in a better position to avoid the dangers caused by dependence on fossil fuels, “while laying the foundations for fairer and more sustainable socio-economic growth”.

“The global energy crisis comes as a stark reminder that there is no escaping the conversation about the radical transformation of our energy system and the world that goes with it. This is what SPIREC is about. Government, civil society, the private sector and academia will join forces to unpack their vision of and solutions for a safe, secure and resilient future with renewables.

Starting with SPIREC, we must make 2023 the year of renewables for their powerful potential to remedy the global addiction to fossil fuels and unlock an incredibly wide range of social and economic benefits,” said Rana Adib, REN21 Executive Director.

Under the theme of “Renewables for People”, the conference is set to attract more than 1,000 participants and around 125 panelists. Some of the prominent stakeholders participating in SPIREC include the governments of Australia, Germany, Romania, The Netherlands, Uruguay Zimbabwe, the European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Clean Energy Council, the New Energy Nexus and all major international industry associations like GSC, GWEC, IGA, IHA WBA as well as civil society organisations like CAN International and WWF.

The Conference will start with an opening ceremony and cover 25 parallel sessions over 5 tracks:

Track 1- Stable Energy Supply, Energy Security and Sovereignty with Renewables

This track addresses the foundations necessary to build a stable new energy order around renewables such as securing energy supply and the supply of materials and technology, developing infrastructure and strengthening global, regional and local supply chains.

Track 2- Renewables: Meeting Energy Demand in All Sectors

This track explores ways to meet the increasing energy demand in non-energy sectors like buildings, industry, transport and agriculture and the choices that can be made on the type of fuel including renewable power, thermal energy, or renewable-based fuels such as biofuels, green hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels.

Track 3 - Seize the Opportunity: Building a New Economy with Renewables

This track explores the necessary industrial developments needed to ramp up renewables and how to ensure local and equitable value creation, and the rules that need to be changed.  

Track 4 - People at the Centre: Renewables at the Heart of Society

This track will investigate ways to inspire and build trust to make the energy transition “work” for all actors. It will also explore ways for players from government, industry and civil society to work together to reach this goal.

Track 5 - Innovation to Fast-Track and Scale Up Renewables

This track will look outside the box for ways to trigger structural transformation in thought processes, business models and creative solutions for the rapid scale up of renewables.

The Conference will also host over 20 community events and feature an exceptional AI driven Future Booth. The Future Booth is an initiative harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence to tap into people’s imagination and offer participants the possibility to immediately translate their vision of a renewables driven future into images that they can use and share and contribute to changing the current narrative about renewables and shaping a collective vision of a different future.

The International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) series have been organised biennially in various countries since the landmark international conference that was held in Bonn, Germany in 2004.

Ever since, IREC participants representing governments, civil society and business from across the world have gathered to discuss, debate and learn from each other with the objective of driving the rapid uptake of renewables.

SPIREC will be hosted at the IFEMA Madrid Fair Center. It will run in parallel to Genera, the international energy and environment trade fair.

Registration link:

About REN21

REN21 is the only global community of renewable energy actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry, providing up-to-date and peer-reviewed facts, figures and analysis of global developments in technology, policies and markets.  REN21 creates an enabling environment to support renewables.

It offers a platform for a variety of stakeholders to engage and collaborate. Armed with knowledge and tools, supported by a culture of dialogue and debate, and augmented by new ecosystems, this community of change strategically drives the deep transformations needed to make renewables the norm.

About IDAE

The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) is a public entity attached to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge through the Secretary of State for Energy, to which it reports organically.

Its mission is to contribute to the achievement of Spain's objectives in terms of improving energy efficiency, renewable energies and other low-carbon technologies.

It carries out dissemination and training actions, technical advice, development of specific programmes and financing of technological innovation and replicable projects. It is also the manager of a large part of the PRTR's aid lines to promote the energy transition in our country.

Yasmine Abd El Aziz,  Beatriz García Calvo


14.02.2023 / MaP

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