[dehai-news] (Guardian) UK looks on from sidelines at green energy summit


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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Sun Jan 25 2009 - 22:44:16 EST


Excerpt: 'With an initial budget of 25m (23.8m), gathered from a
means-tested membership subscription, Irena will give financial,
practical and technological support to member countries such as Chad,
which has a constant solar supply, but is almost wholly dependent on
conventional energies such as gas and oil, to build solar power plants.
Other countries which have signed up include France, the Netherlands,
Spain, Denmark, Vietnam, Paraguay, Mali, Ethiopia and Eritrea.'
 
 
UK looks on from sidelines at green energy summit
 
Kate Connolly in Berlin and David Gow in Brussels
The Guardian, Monday 26 January 2009
 
A new international body to promote renewable energy is to be
established today, in a move that its supporters insist has the
potential to replace the global dominance of conventional power with
wind, solar and other sustainable sources within a matter of years.
 
Fifty-five governments have said they will commit themselves to full
membership of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), at its
founding conference in Bonn today. A total of 116 countries will take
part.
 
The US has not joined, but is widely expected to do so under the new
administration. Britain, however, has not signed up to Irena, although
it is understood to be sending officials as observers.
 
Officials in the new Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
said: "We are certainly supportive and are interested in joining but we
need to make sure that what we're joining has the right focus. There
needs to be more focus on the deployment of renewables rather than just
talking policy and issuing papers - and there needs to be a wider
membership."
 
The DECC is hyper-sensitive to persistent criticism that Britain is
dragging its feet on renewable energy and clinging to old coal - and
gas-fired - generating plants to prevent the lights going out in the
middle of the next decade.
 
Headed by Ed Miliband, the department wants to see the US and Asian
countries such as China and Japan indicate they will join too before it
signs up to Irena.
 
Irena aims to help both developing and industrialised countries transfer
to renewable energy with practical advice to those who lack the knowhow.
 
Its founders see it as an institutional counterbalance to the
International Energy Agency which has been accused of not doing enough
to promote alternative energy. Irena's initiator, Hermann Scheer, who is
president of the World Council for Renewable Energy and a German MP,
told the Guardian: "Irena is the single-most important step for a speedy
global introduction of renewable energies. It will give an enormous push
to the use of renewables around the globe."
 
With an initial budget of 25m (23.8m), gathered from a means-tested
membership subscription, Irena will give financial, practical and
technological support to member countries such as Chad, which has a
constant solar supply, but is almost wholly dependent on conventional
energies such as gas and oil, to build solar power plants.
 
Other countries which have signed up include France, the Netherlands,
Spain, Denmark, Vietnam, Paraguay, Mali, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
 
The Danish climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, told the Guardian that
Irena would enable the proper coordination of renewable energy usage
across the world. "Renewables have been homeless in the energy family
until now," she said. "We have a chance to spread their use,
particularly in the developing world, to spread best practices, deliver
useful statistics and calculations and share the knowhow about what pays
off and what doesn't.
 
"There's a growing understanding that renewables are important on many
levels, from energy security to growth and development.
 
"Even Saudi Arabia, an oil-producing country and member of Opec, has
just announced it wants to have 7% of renewables by 2020."
 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/26/irena-renewable-energy
-summit

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