Lightsource bp and REA host energy transition roundtable at COP28

Lightsource bp and the UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) hosted a high-level roundtable debate at COP28. The session focused on solar power’s role in delivering an energy transition that is both people-first and supportive of nature.

117 nations aim to triple renewable capacity by 2030. The key question is how will they deliver on this commitment?

At Lightsource bp, we’ve been prioritising meaningful community engagement and a proactive approach on nature for over a decade.

Our contribution to the World Economic Forum’s white paper underscores the need for a people-positive approach in clean power scale-up. As we eye the ambitious solar targets, it’s clear that massive infrastructure development must go hand-in-hand with community involvement.

“Tripling renewables is going to require a massive infrastructure build and it was inevitably going to intersect with people and nature. It is critical that we take community engagement to the next level,” said Kristen Panerali, Head of Clean Power, Grids and Electrification, WEF, who participated in the roundtable.

A responsible solar approach also requires a proactive strategy on nature and biodiversity.

Lightsource bp is targeting biodiversity net gain, an uplift in the measured biodiversity before and after sites are operational, wherever possible across our global portfolio. An independent study of our solar farms in the UK has shown the potential for even larger improvements. This will be crucial as the UK eyes ambitious solar targets.

“The Mission Zero review in the UK called for a solar revolution to install 70GW of solar power by 2035,” said Chris Skidmore MP, who led an independent review into the UK’s 2050 net zero commitment. “The REA has done a lot of work to demonstrate not just the challenges that we must address to unblock solar deployment but also what [about] that opportunity to deliver cheaper, greener, cleaner energy at scale so households get cheaper bills and at the same time we can ensure that the deployment of solar is best placed to deliver for communities across the UK,” he added.

Many thanks to all the participants in the roundtable:

  • Chris Skidmore, MP
  • Thanos Zarogiannis, Energy Transition Expert, Senior Advisor to the Greek Deputy Minister of Environment & Energy
  • Dr Ceris Jones, Climate Change Advisor, National Farmers Union (UK) and UNFCCC Focal Point for Farmers
  • Dr Veronica Bermudez Benito, Senior Research Director at the Energy Center at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)
  • Kristen Panerali, Head of Clean Power and Electrification, WEF
  • Nina Skorupska, CEO, Renewable Energy Association
  • Mate Heisz, Director of Global Affairs, Solar Power Europe
  • Adam Pegg, Managing Director APAC, Lightsource bp
  • Alyssa Edwards, Senior VP Government Relations and Environmental Affairs, Lightsource bp
  • Michelle Lezama, EU Government Affairs Advisor, Lightsource bp
  • Francis Mann, UK Government Affairs Lead, Lightsource bp

Watch Kristen and Chris’ post panel interviews below.

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