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Governments to signal support for IRENA role in global energy transformation

More than 1,100 government representatives from over 150 countries to gather in Abu Dhabi for Eighth IRENA Assembly

| | Jan 12, 2018 | 1:51 pm
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Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11 January 2018: More than 1,100 representatives of governments from 150 countries will meet in Abu Dhabi to attend the Eighth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), scheduled to take place on January 13 and 14. As the world’s principal platform for international cooperation on renewable energy, the Assembly will provide strategic guidance to the work of the Agency for the next four years and position it to play a key role in driving the global energy transformation, IRENA said through a Press communiqué.

“As renewable energy costs decline, technology advances and deployment accelerates around the world, we are entering a new age of energy transformation, with renewable energy becoming a significant driver of economic growth, job creation, and socioeconomic development while also addressing climate change and reducing air pollution,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“At the IRENA Assembly, our global membership will set the direction of the Agency in the coming years and chart a roadmap for the energy system of the future – a future that will be increasingly decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised,” he added.

Since 2013, more than USD 1 trillion has been invested in renewables globally, and today, the industry accounts for nearly 10 million jobs, worldwide, IRENA said through the communiqué. As countries, cities and corporates drive progress towards a low-carbon energy system, the Assembly will take stock of progress in renewables deployment, and the decarbonisation of the electricity system as well as end-use sectors, such as heating, cooling and transportation.

The President of the Assembly, and Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining for Uruguay, Carolina Cosse, said: “Uruguay is honoured to preside over the eighth session of the Assembly of IRENA, an organisation that plays a central role in promoting renewable energy, worldwide. Uruguay is proof that high shares of variable renewable energy can be successfully integrated into the energy mix.

“Just last year, 97% of our electricity was generated by renewables, out of which 35% came from wind, and over 60% of our primary mix is renewable – mainly based on the use of biofuels,” Cosse said. “This year marks our fifth without the need to import power, as well as increasing our exports to neighbouring countries. Our next challenge is to move forward on electric transportation, and I believe Uruguay is ready to be the next regional platform where this technology can be developed and implemented.”

Highlights of the 2018 Assembly include:

  • Release of the Agency’s report on renewable energy power generation costs, and tracking the degree to which costs competitiveness of renewable energy has entered an era of competitive advantage, based on its strong business case.
  • Two high-level ministerial roundtables to identify concrete ways to accelerate investment in renewable energy and explore innovations and synergies between transport sector electrification and renewable energy.
  • Launch of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, which will examine how growing renewables deployment will impact geopolitical dynamics.
  • A two-day meeting of international legislators on renewable energy policy-making, including a day-long event with the UAE Federal National Council, which will discuss the role of renewables in advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in addressing climate change.
  • A high-level ministerial event that will seek to improve the capacity of small-island developing states to develop and finance renewable energy projects.
  • Programmatic discussions on a range of topics, including renewable energy policy, geothermal energy, scaling up of solar PV, bioenergy for sustainable development, and renewable energy in the context of sustainable development and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement on climate.
  • Announcement by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and IRENA on the recipients of funding allocated through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.

IRENA will also hold an art exhibition, called Visions of Sustainability. Renowned sound artist, Bill Fontana will present multimedia works on renewable energy, created especially for the event, the communiqué said, adding that sustainability thought-leader, William McDonough and initiator and pilot of Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard will share their visions for a sustainable future.

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