IRENA Council Reflects Strong International Commitment to Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment
WAM Abu Dhabi, 6th June 2012 (WAM) - The level of participation during the third meeting of the Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the decisions taken, demonstrate strong international commitment to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies. Some 260 representatives, including seven at the ministerial level, from 96 countries, gathered in Abu Dhabi on 5 and 6 June for the Council, which is composed of 21 Members and meets twice a year.
According to the Chair Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates, "the Council took a number of decisions aimed at strengthening IRENA as the leading organization for international cooperation on the design and implementation of renewable energy policies and the accelerated deployment of renewable energy technologies with a focus on the developing countries." The Council discussed key issues related to IRENA's strategic direction and its plans for the immediate future, including the Framework for the 2013 Work Programme and Budget and the proposed Medium-Term Strategy. IRENA Director-General, Mr. Adnan Z. Amin defined IRENA's vision for the coming period "to be the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence on renewable energy and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge, and to support countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future." The three programme Directors presented updates on programme implementation, including on major projects: the Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), the work on socio-economic impacts of renewable energy, with a focus on employment effects, and the Agency's input into achieving the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All objective to double the global share of renewable energy by 2030.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, H.E. Dr. Guido Westerwelle, stressed the importance of an effective international framework for cooperation for countries to benefit from their respective strengths and experiences in renewable energy policies. In this context, he expressed strong support for IRENA and hailed the organization for the concrete results it had produced in only fourteen months after its founding.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, stated that IRENA had expanded its substantive work, and was publishing some of the first and best data on the cost and competitiveness of renewable energy outside the OECD. IRENA is becoming the source of global knowledge on renewable energy and the industry's meeting point for collaboration. He announced that at Rio+20 a partnership between IRENA and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to support renewable energy projects in developing countries would be launched.
Two new IRENA publications were released on the occasion of the Council meeting. The "Renewable Energy Technologies: Cost Analysis Series" includes five studies on the cost and performance of key renewable power generation technologies. The other report entitled "Renewable Energy Jobs and Access" examines job creation in the context of rural access to energy.