World governments form International Renewable Energy Agency

Delegations from more than 100 world governments met January 26 in Bonn for the formal signing of a statute to create the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The international organization, initiated by Germany with the support of Spain and Denmark, is intended to close the gap between the world’s large renewable energy potential and its current relatively low market share in energy consumption.

“There is such great potential in solar, wind, and hydropower, geothermal energy, and biomass that they can cover the energy needs of a global population rising to over 9 billion people,” German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, in welcoming the delegates. “Furthermore, their use can be decentralized, thus bringing energy and development opportunities to isolated regions.”

The main work of IRENA will be to advise its members on creating the right frameworks, building capacity, and improving financing and the transfer of technology for renewable energies.

“Many countries have recognized the opportunities which renewable energies offer for climate protection, security of supply, economic growth, and employment,” Gabriel said. “IRENA gives renewables an international voice and political impetus. The agency will be the global platform for renewable energies.”

The IRENA Preparatory Commission is to convene for the first time to decide on the agency’s initial steps. Signatories of IRENA will be invited to submit applications for an interim headquarters and nominations for an interim director-general until April 30. In June, the commission is to choose an interim headquarters and director.

For information, see IRENA’s Internet site, www.irena.org, or contact the agency by e-mail at info@irena.org.

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