IRENA headquaters and other news

Just an very short (edit on 3.7.) update from the second session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt):

The Signatories designated Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, as the headquarters. The other candidates for the headquaters Bonn and Vienna withdrew their candidacies shortly before Abu Dhabi was chosen. The UAE has proposed to locate IRENA‘s headquarters in Masdar, a 22 billion-dollar city near Abu Dhabi that will have zero carbon emissions. It is scheduled for completion in 2015 with a capacity to house up to 50,000 people.

At the same time it was decided that Bonn will host IRENA’s center of technology and innovation and that in Vienna the Agency’s liaison office for cooperation with other organisations active in the field of renewables will be established.

In addition the candidate from France, Helene Pelosse, currently Deputy Head of Staff in the Private Office of the French Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development, and Town and Country Planning in charge of international affairs, beating off challengers from Denmark, Greece and Spain.

Shortly before the meetings began, the United States and Japan as well as Australia signed on to IRENA . This raises the amount of IRENA member states to 136. “Our government’s participation is an important element of the administration’s effort to support clean energy technologies and the development of low carbon economies to address global climate change,” Clinton said in a statement (source: Reuters).

Map of IRENA's Signatory States (as of 29 June 2009)

At the meeting it was decided, that the 3rd Preparatory Commission Meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi in January 2010 and back to back with the World Energy Summit and chaired by the UAE. The UAE’s support for IRENA including all operation costs, a fully serviced headquarters, relocation costs and R&D funds worth a total of USD 136m for the first 6 years.  In addition Governments passed decisions on the budget outline of IRENA and being USD 6m in 2009 for building up the Secretariat and USD 17m in 2010. There was consensus that IRENA’s work programme should focus on capacity building, knowledge transfer and technology transfer. Many countries also called for formal partnerships between IRENA and existing organisations and networks already active in the field of renewables. A key message of the IRENA Preparatory Commission was that IRENA should ‘start small and grow big’.

And last but not least India announced that its Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (follow up to WIREC) will be held Delhi on 27-29 October 2010.

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