New IEA-IRENA partnership will heighten co-operation and policy collaboration

16 January 2012

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed a partnership agreement today which will strengthen co-operation between the two organisations. Although the agencies have collaborated since IRENA’s inception in 2009 – including developing a joint approach on renewable energy statistics – this agreement will launch a number of new initiatives, such as a joint database of renewable energy policies.

The IEA’s Executive Director, Maria van der Hoeven, emphasised the importance of close co-operation. “The Joint Database will eventually allow the coverage of renewable energy policies in 150 countries, which I consider a crucial milestone to foster best policy practices – and consequently cost-effective large-scale deployment of renewables,” she said.

IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, added: “IRENA and the IEA are natural partners in the global quest to increase the deployment of renewable energy. This agreement will allow us to maximise output by drawing on each others’ respective strengths and complementary areas, while avoiding duplication of efforts.”

The proposed new areas of work are outlined in a Letter of Intent, which was signed by the Executive Director of the IEA and the Director General of IRENA, during the IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi on 14 January 2012. IRENA, which was established in January 2009, aims at acting as a global voice for renewable energy, promoting its widespread and increased adoption.

The database will be known as the IEA/IRENA Global Renewable Energy Policies and Measures Database and will be improved by adding to the IEA member countries' information additional datasets from IRENA members and signatory countries. Both parties will collect and verify information for the database, which will open to free public access and be updated at least twice a year.

Other points covered in the Letter of Intent include the regular exchange of information, the organisation of joint conferences and workshops and reciprocal participation in technical committee meetings.

There will also be increased collaboration between the two agencies at the Secretariat level, and in energy technology networks, including the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (formerly known as Implementing Agreements), whose well-established programmes facilitate pre-commercial international technology co-operation among countries, with many of the programmes focusing on renewable energy technologies.