Lennart Kuntze

Associate Programme Officer at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Innovation & Technology Centre in Bonn / Germany. In this capacity, Mr. Kuntze coordinates energy planning capacity building programmes in African countries (currently, Sierra Leone and Swaziland) and regional power pool studies in the context of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor. Mr. Kuntze further coordinates the national IRENA Renewable Energy Roadmap (REmap) study with South Africa and serves as REmap country focal point for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Prior to joining IRENA in 2016, Mr. Kuntze worked for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) where he managed projects on regional integration of power systems and other research and country support projects at the nexus of renewable energy and international trade. In previous occupations, Mr. Kuntze has lived in Australia, Spain and Mexico. He holds a Master of Science from the United Nations University Institute and Maastricht School of Governance (Netherlands).

Energy and Climate Change

The lecture will look at the nexus of energy and climate change, in the context of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (“Paris Agreement”) and the need for effective action particularly in the energy sector.

The lecture will present the analysis of the IRENA-IEA report Perspectives for a Global Energy Transition. Around two-thirds of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can be attributed to fossil fuel energy supply and use. CO2 emissions must be reduced considerably faster than business-as-usual to mitigate the effects of climate change. The report provides an assessment of required transformations in the energy sector for meeting the target of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2C degrees, and outlines socio-economic and environmental implications related to a comprehensive global energy sector transition.

The lecture further presents the preliminary IRENA analysis of renewable energy contributions contained in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, with a focus on Latin America and Africa. The IRENA assessment finds that renewable energy targets in the NDCs are not always aligned with existing national (renewable) energy plans, and that the renewable energy components of NDCs in many countries do not fully exploit the potential for cost-effective deployment of renewables.

Finally, the lecture will capture some key take-away points for policymaking.

Innovation & Technology for the Energy Transition

The lecture will discuss the role of innovation and technology for a global energy transition.

The lecture will outline the current role of renewable energy in the global energy mix and the magnitude of transformation required for achieving a decarbonization across the energy sector. Besides the power sector, the lecture will look particularly at the industry and transport sectors and identify areas that currently have no economically viable options for decarbonization. The lecture will briefly zoom in on the topic of stranded assets as one particular aspect of interest in the context of a global energy transition.

The lecture will then present the analysis and findings from the IRENA analysis Accelerating the Energy Transition through Innovation and will identify key prospective innovation areas for the energy transition. It will zoom in on electric vehicles as a focus area of technology innovation.

Finally, the lecture will capture some key take-away messages.