MOU with ECN expands IRENA’s global partnership network

24 July 2012| Articles


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) have established a cooperative partnership based on their mutual belief in the central role of renewable energy in a sustainable future. The partnership was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Given their mandates, and areas of operation, IRENA and ECN are natural partners. IRENA works in the areas of knowledge management, policy advice, capacity building, and technology innovation and cooperation. The Netherland’s largest independent research institute, ECN, is an energy specialist focused on policy studies, and technological research and development. 

ECN’s CEO Mr. Paul Korting welcomed the strategic partnership, saying that “despite the economic crisis, renewable energy is still growing strongly. ECN has much experience advising government on energy policy issues and working with the private sector in developed and developing countries for commercialising renewable energy technology. Our co-operation with IRENA will help both organisations to become more successful.”

Complementary areas of expertise and research combined with a common interest - facilitating the transition towards a sustainable energy future – forms a solid foundation for beneficial cooperation. Renewable energy policy, systems analysis, and technological innovation systems, are all areas of potential collaboration that have been identified and formally recognised in the MOU. Another important area identified is furthering the commercialisation of renewable energy technologies. Accelerating the global deployment of renewable energy technologies is dependent, in part, on developing greater numbers of technologies to a commercially competitive level. Activities that IRENA and ECN will collaborate on to facilitate this include technology research and development, adaption and transfer, and techno-economic outlooks for specific options.

“Renewable energy actors play an indispensable role in the development and deployment of renewable energy worldwide. One of IRENA’s roles is to be the global hub for these actors and their activities; to create an inclusive platform that will facilitate global cooperation in renewable energy knowledge and technology,” said IRENA Director-General Mr. Adnan Z. Amin. “For IRENA, forging a partnership with ECN is a natural step towards achieving this.”

By collaborating, IRENA and ECN will enhance the effectiveness of their activities, and move closer to achieving their mandates, while also enhancing renewable energy and sustainable development globally.