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BEYOND20 In the UK, renewables, powered by that


country’s increasing offshore wind reserves, delivered 44% of its electricity demand during 2020. In Chile, a global consortium of banks invested $620m in bringing 630MW of Mainstream Renewable Power’s wind and solar plant to financial close. This is the second tranche of amammoth 1.3GWportfolio won in a competitive auction in 2016, when coal was priced out of the market. In SouthAfrica, the governmentcommitted


to delivering its fifth round of renewables pro- curement, as the backers of the country’s only new independent coal plant, the 630MW Thabametsi plant, withdrew. My company, Mainstream Renewable Power, is present in all these markets, helping to lead the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In each, that transition is underpinned by a global net- work of investors convinced, as we are, that the world is moving inexorably, and at speed, to a decarbonised energy economy. It is these countries’ leadership that is


inspiring Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Colombia, whose modern economies were all built on coal, to envisage a transition to wind and solar. It is the example of South Korea, Japan and China in setting a timetable to reach net zero that will inspire, and finance, others regionally and globally to do thesame. It is the prospect of the United States re-joining the UNFCCC process that makes the likelihood of a meaningful conclusion to COP26 in Glasgowall the greater. Mainstream Renewable Power was founded


with a vision of a world electrified by renewa- ble energy. What is truly exciting as we look towards 2021 is the fact that we can see the framework of that new electric society in mar- kets as diverse as Chile, South Korea and the UK. Our challenge nowis to accelerate the tran- sition to renewable energy. In its recent report, Global Landscape of


Renewable Energy Finance 2020, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reminded us that to meet the Paris Agreement targets we need to quadruple the amount of annual investment in renewable energy. Weknow that there is a wall ofmoney look-


ing to invest in clean energy infrastructure; we know that next year that there will be more markets to invest in than in 2020; and we know that the market knows that it no longer makes sense to invest in oil or coal. For all these reasons I amconfident that we


will meet the challenge that IRENA has set and that a world electrified by renewable energy is no longer a dream, but a vision embedded in reality.■


Mary Quaney is the chief executive of global wind and solar development company Mainstream Renewable Power. Mainstream Renewable Power has announced 47 solar and wind projects worth $14.7bn since 2009 (Source: fDi Markets).


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 37


IT ISPOSSIBLE TOENVISAGEA ROBUST GLOBAL RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMICAND SOCIAL IMPACTS OFCOVID-19


COMMENT


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