The German Government's initiative for the founding of IRENA was actively supported from the outset by Spain and Denmark, and has now been signed by 75 countries. The aim of IRENA is to close the gap between the enormous potential of renewables and their relatively low market share in energy consumption throughout the world.
IRENA will advise its members on creating the right frameworks, building capacity and improving financing and the transfer of technology and know-how for renewable energy.
Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, said: “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: Germany, with its outstanding environmental technologies, is particularly well-placed in this regard.”
John Geesman, Co-Chairman of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE’s) Board of Directors, commented: “We are hopeful and confident that the United States will reverse the decision of the Bush Administration not to join IRENA, and return the US to world leadership on renewable energy, a matter that is a priority of the new Administration in Washington. We urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take this is up as a matter of symbolic urgency that aligns the US with the rest of the world.”
Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), said: “IRENA will be a primary tool for the accelerated deployment of renewable energy on the global scale by bringing together the leading international experts from all over the world, covering all renewable energy sectors.
“As a government agency, IRENA will have a high degree of authority. This will be important for international decision-making processes and it will change the still widely-spread underestimation of the potentials, benefits and actual contributions of renewable energy.”
World Future Council (WWF) Director of Programmes, Herberg Giardet, added: “With IRENA, we finally have an effective counterpart to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which support fossil and nuclear power. IRENA will ensure that from now on, renewable energies receive the same global support.”