During the first annual International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) assembly in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates announced it would host the headquarters for the international organization.
The UAE — where our friend and CleanTechnica Director Zachary Shahan is this week for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit, and the International Renewable Energy Concerence — was the interim IRENA headquarters up until now.
But that isn’t the biggest IRENA news of the week….
New Member, New Milestone
China is now one of the 160 IRENA members, joining earlier this week. A major player in the renewable energy scene, China is looking to beef up its roughly 56,000 megawatts of wind power and 206,000 megawatts of hydro power capacity. Additionally, it has increased its 2015 solar power capacity goal from 5 GW to 40 GW in the past couple years, and has announced that it intends to hit 10 GW of new solar power capacity in 2013 alone.
The addition of China to IRENA is a necessary step in reaching the “Remap 2030″ goal of doubling renewable energy generation by 2030. To meet the renewable energy goals set out by the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, generation rates will have to exceed more than 150 gigawatts per year.
The good news is that achieving 150 gigawatts of renewable energy is feasible, in light of new that technology costs continue to plummet.
China has announced it will join the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a milestone in international efforts to double the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030.
The accession of China – a world leader in technology manufacturing and the use of wind, solar and hydropower – marks a major step toward universal membership for the Agency, which currently has 160 participating states.
“China looks forward to becoming a full member of IRENA soon, as well as working alongside all countries for greater achievements in global renewable energy development,” said Liu Qi, Vice-Minister of the National Energy Administration of China, at IRENA’s 3rd annual Assembly in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi.
China is the world’s largest energy producer, with total installed electrical power generation capacity of 1140 GW, and is increasingly turning to renewable energy to power its fast growing economy.
It is the world leader for installed capacity of hydro and wind power, with 249 GW of hydro and 63 GW of wind, and is adding more hydro and wind capacity annually than any other country. China’s installed generating capacity of solar PV power has reached 7 GW, a tenfold increase over two years. China is also a manufacturing powerhouse for solar PV, wind and hydro power technology.
“The decision by China to join IRENA is a milestone in international efforts to promote renewable energy,” said IRENA’s Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “I am delighted with the confidence China has shown in IRENA and I look forward to their active participation in the global effort for a clean energy future for all.”
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.