Policymakers discuss the role of communities in the clean energy transition at the tenth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Image: IRENA, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr As growth of renewables faces bottlenecks due to faltering investment and lagging grid upgrades needed to accommodate more solar and wind, bringing in citizens willing to take a direct stake in the clean energy switch could help revitalise momentum and hasten renewables deployment. Global political leaders from Sierra Leone, India and the United Kingdom, among others, at the tenth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi in January discussed how parliamentarians, in their role as a bridge between government and communities, could drive the clean energy transition. They said through increased awareness of the benefits of renewables, conducive frameworks and financial incentives, governments could garner public support for renewables and foster citizen-led initiatives that could alleviate government budget constraints currently hampering clean energy development. “As parliamentarians, we are agents of change in our society,” said Andries Gryffroy, a member of the Belgian parliament, speaking at the legislator’s forum of the assembly. “We represent the people. But it should no longer be about making […]

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