January 20, 2022
Enel Foundation is proud to announce that the strategic scientific partnership started last year with International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will continue in 2022, with the aim to advance global energy transition through joint youth engagement ventures, and joint research on critical materials for energy transition and hydrogen.
2021 saw our collaboration focus on enhancing youth engagement via the “Energy Transition Heroes”, a series of online meetings that were part of the IRENA Youth Talk program. Given the increasing role that youth is playing in shaping the climate change conversation and in contributing to a just energy transition worldwide, the initiative launched by Enel Foundation and IRENA had the objective of offering to the younger generations the opportunity to be actively involved in the discussions on the future of the energy sector, enabling intergenerational exchanges and thus fostering positive transformations.
The “Energy Transition Heroes” series unfolded along four different webinars, starting in June with “Addressing Equity and Climate Challenges through Renewables-based Energy Transitions”, “Youth Powering Sustainable Energy Technology” in July, “The importance of international cooperation to address climate change: empowering the role of youth” in September as part of the Pre-COP26 “All4Climate” program, and finally “Energy Transition to Boost the Fight Against Climate Change: Setting the Future Agenda” in December.
Throughout these online meetings young leaders from across the globe came together to elaborate with key players from the international energy sector on the role of youth in climate action and to discuss the lessons learned from Pre-COP and COP26. Over the course of 2022 the partnership between Enel Foundation and IRENA will see new intergenerational initiatives take place, and not only. The research program foresees the continuation of joint studies on the development of the green hydrogen economy and the analysis of regional market trends, together with researching together potential materials shortage and what has been called “greenflation”. This term has been introduced to describe the rising prices of metals and minerals - such as copper, aluminum and lithium - which are essential for solar and wind power, electric cars and other renewable technologies. Likewise, rare earth elements are also essential in the manufacture of electric vehicles and wind turbines. An accelerated energy transition requires a growing supply of these critical materials, and that’s why with IRENA we decided to foster this kind of research.