International Renewable Energy Agency Established

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

27 January 2009: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held its founding conference in Bonn, Germany, on 26 January 2009, bringing together representatives from over 100 governments. IRENA was set up to promote renewable energy worldwide and help create conditions for renewable energy development.

Speaking at the conference, Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Environment Minister, stated that the Agency was established based on the conviction that the main share of energy consumption can be covered with renewable energies and that renewable energies offer huge potential and the technologies for their use are available. IRENA will focus on providing policy advice for national governments, facilitating technology transfer and capacity building.

On 27 January, the Preparatory Commission convened for the first time, and decided on the Agency's initial steps, including the procedure and criteria for selecting IRENA's interim Director-General and interim headquarters. Signatories of IRENA were invited to put forward applications for the interim headquarters and nominations of candidates for the post of interim Director-General until 30 April 2009. The Preparatory Commission is scheduled to decide on the location of the interim headquarters and the interim Director-General in June 2009. [IRENA Founding Conference Website] [German Federal Environment Minister's Statement]