A conference beginning today in Bonn, Germany marks the creation of the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
About 80 states have so far committed to participate in the organization founded by efforts within the German Federal Environment Ministry. It is expected that nearly half of the participating states will sign the founding treaty.
The aim of the new Agency is to close throughout the world the gap between the enormous potential of renewables and their current relatively low
market share in energy consumption.
IRENA is the first international organization to focus
exclusively on the issue of renewable energies. 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 and know-how for renewable energies.
"Energy and climate policy are
now fixed components of our foreign and security policy. With IRENA we want to assist the
international breakthrough of renewables and reduce global rivalries over fossil energies and
sources of supply. The expansion of renewable energies also holds major global opportunities
for the industry," German Federal Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said.
This first conference will lay the foundations for the establishment of IRENA. In June 2009 the Preparatory Commission will decide on the location of the Agency's seat and elect the first Director-General.