Renewable energy was once referred to as alternative energy, too expensive to expand beyond niche markets. Today, the perception has changed. Thanks to innovation and falling costs, renewables grew faster than any other energy source in 2017. They now form the leading edge of a global energy transformation.

The shift from fossil fuels to renewables will create effects that reverberate well beyond the energy sector. Alongside other trends such as digitalization, it entails a disruption of our economic, social and political systems. The energy transformation also has the potential to completely redraw the global geopolitical map.

Last year, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) convened a Global Commission with political and business leaders from around the world to study these geopolitical effects in greater detail. It recently presented its final report ‘A New World’, for which GIIS fellow Thijs Van de Graaf served as lead writer.

This Roundtable will discuss the findings of the report. Entrance is free.


  • Thijs Van de Graaf (UGent, moderator)
  • Claire Dupont (UGent)
  • Daniel Scholten (TUDelft)
  • David Criekemans (UAntwerpen)
  • Sebastian Oberthür (VUB)

Date: Thursday, 28 February 2019, 12:00-13:30
Venue: Academieraadzaal, Volderstraat 9, Gent
Organizers: Ghent Institute for International Studies (GIIS) in cooperation with GOVTRAN

Register here for the event

the Geopolitics of Renewables and Decarbonization

Ghent Institute for International Studies, Academieraadzaal, Volderstraat 9, Gent


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