New partnerships to enhance mapping of wind and solar energy resources

20 June 2012| Press Release

Ministers and Senior Officials participating in a side event on 19 June 2012 at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development stressed the importance of international cooperation for mapping the world’s renewable energy resources. The side event was organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the leading intergovernmental organisation for the deployment of renewable energies.

The event was focused on questions that are crucial for decision-makers and investors such as: What share of a country’s energy mix can be supplied by renewable energy? Where are the resources located? What is the most effective combination of technologies? How much investment is required? Is there a market large enough for creating a supply chain?

Speakers included H.E. Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy, South Africa; H.E. Martin Lidegaard, Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Denmark; Dr. Altino Ventura, Secretary of Planning and Energy Development, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Brazil; Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, United Arab Emirates; Dr. Karsten Sach, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Dr Victorio Oxilia Davalos, Executive Secretary of the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE); and Mr. Steve Sawyer, Secretary-General, Global Wind Energy Council.

During the event, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber announced the commissioning of a UAE Solar Atlas by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology jointly with IRENA and other partners. The data on solar energy will be freely available online from early 2013 onwards for use by governments and by the private sector when assessing the technical feasibility of any proposed renewable energy project.

The high-level exchange of views was followed by the signature of a partnership agreement between IRENA and OLADE that will enhance mapping of renewable energy resources in the region.

The Global Atlas, launched jointly by IRENA and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), is the largest ever initiative undertaken to assess the renewable energy potentials on a global scale. It initially covers wind and solar and is to progressively extend to other renewable energy resources.
The Global Atlas is an interactive internet-based mapping platform, designed to raise awareness of technology opportunities, limit the financial risk for countries willing to further investigate their technical potentials, and support companies willing to invest in a new market. It provides the initial elements necessary to investigate renewable energy potentials before initiating detailed national investigations and building human capacities.

IRENA - the International Renewable Energy Agency, founded in 2009, held its first Assembly in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in April 2011, where the Agency is headquartered. With the participation of 158 States, 95 Member States, and the European Union, IRENA has become a nexus of international efforts to accelerate the worldwide deployment of renewable energy technologies.

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Panelists of the Global Atlas side event at Rio+20

IRENA Director-General Mr Adnan Z. Amin and OLADE Executive Secretary Dr Victorio Oxilia Davalos conclude a partnership agreement