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International Renewable Energy Agency

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1001W, on the International Renewable Energy Agency, for what reason the Government have not joined the International Renewable Energy Agency. (257796)

We have fully supported the proposal for an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). During 2008, we participated in the process for establishing the IRENA and we have also participated at the Founding Conference on 26 January and the first session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA on 27 January 2009.

We have been very keen on joining and have been in close contact with the German Government on the details of the new organisation. For example, we have been talking to Germany about how IRENA can contribute to the roll-out and deployment of renewables and how we can help to get other countries such as Canada, China, Japan, India and the US to join. We are also talking about how we can make sure that IRENA works closely with, and avoids overlap and duplication with, other international bodies and organisations, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the renewable energy and energy efficiency partnership (REEEP). The IEA has a good understanding of the potential for renewable energy and its technology roadmaps published in its Energy Technologies Perspectives 2008 set out what needs to be done. The policy and analytical expertise of the IEA needs to be used by IRENA to accelerate deployment of renewable sources of energy.

These are the main issues that we have under consideration, but we have not finalised a timetable by which we intend to join.