IRENA to promote renewable energies internationally

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an initiative by Germany, Spain and Denmark, will be launched in Bonn in January after 51 countries agreed to its statute in Madrid Oct. 23-24, reports November 3. IRENA’s mandate encompasses all forms of renewable energy, including bio-energy, solar power and wind energy. It seeks to combat such obstacles to tapping clean energies as lack of public awareness and proper information, market distortions in favour of traditional energy sources, and ineffective political frameworks.

The German government, which has taken the lead in the preparatory phase, says a “large majority” of the numerous countries that have set ambitious targets to give renewable energies a more prominent place in their national energy consumption “would like detailed consultation and advice on this”. Providing information on best practices and promoting technology transfer will be at the core of IRENA’s aim to give all countries access to reliable information on the latest expertise and effective financing options.

IRENA, intended as the first truly international organisation offering support and advice to both industrialised and developing countries, will work closely with other related international organisations and initiatives, only offering its services at the request of member states, says

The EU has adopted a binding target to source 20% of its energy needs from renewables by 2020 in response to the double challenge of global warming and energy security. In January 2008, the Commission proposed differential targets to each member state depending on their per capita gross domestic product.