Renewable energy is considered the key to the development in the 21st Century. India this week joined an inter-governmental body called the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which will work towards development and the deployment of renewable energy technologies at the global level.
More than 70 countries sent their representatives to the founding conference of IRENA in Bonn in January 2009
After signing an agreement, India has become the 77th country to join the International Renewable Energy Agency or IRENA. Speaking on the occasion earlier this week, Indian ambassador to Germany Meera Shankar said New Delhi attaches great importance to the promotion of renewable energy resources.
Due to the rapid rate of economic development in India, concerns are mounting over growing energy consumption in the country, rising carbon emissions and climate change.
Hence, it is significant, that countries such as India have decided to become part of IRENA, says Jürgen Meier from the Forum on Environment and Development:
"Developing world look up to India and China. What works in China, could, in principle, also work in any other developing country. China and India have a function to show way to others, and both have been doing well in many fields."
Promoting renewable energy
In June 2007, Germany proposed the creation of the International Renewable Energy Agency, with the aim of promoting renewable energy resources at a global level and cooperation in terms of technology transfer and joint research. Spain and Denmark soon joined the campaign and helped the formation of the preliminary framework of the organisation.
In late January this year, the international body was finally launched, although the location of its headquarters has not been decided yet. A conference has been planned in Egypt in June to discuss the issue. Virginia Sonntag-O’Brien, from the International Energy Policy Network called REN21 is optimistic about the agency’s progress:
"They have moved so fast to get to this point that I could imagine that by the end of the year, they would have operations and some of the intimations of their work programme in place."
IRENA is not associated with the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA or the International Energy Agency IEA. It will be working as an independent international agency, a move that many see as an advantage, including Jürgen Meier from the Forum on Environment and Development:
"At the UN, you will have everyone, also those, who could be against it. Here, we don’t need those, who would create obstacles and stop the operation."
With India’s decision to join IRENA, the number of people worldwide living in member states and thus committed through their representatives to the promotion of renewable energy has risen to over 2.5 billion.