Representatives from 150 countries will converge on Abu Dhabi this weekend for Eighth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The meeting, which is being held Jan. 13-14, will focus on IRENA strategy for the next four years and offer strategic advice on how its member countries can further their shared goal.
“As renewable energy costs decline, technology advances and deployment accelerates around the world, we are entering a new age of energy transformation, with renewable energy becoming a significant driver of economic growth, job creation, and socioeconomic development while also addressing climate change and reducing air pollution” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.
“At the IRENA Assembly, our global membership will set the direction of the Agency in the coming years and chart a roadmap for the energy system of the future – a future that will be increasingly decarbonised, decentralised and digitalized,” he added.
Since 2013, more than $1 trillion have been invested in renewables globally and today the industry accounts for nearly 10 million jobs worldwide.
Throughout the weekend-long event, attendees will take stock of the progress that has been achieved in the deployment of renewables and the decarbonization of the electricity system.
Among the anticipated highlights of this year's assembly are:
The release of IRENA's report on renewable energy power generation costs, tracking the degree to which costs competitiveness of renewable energy has entered an era of competitive advantage based on its strong business case.
Two high-level Ministerial Roundtables that will identify specific ways to accelerate investment in renewable energy and explore innovations and synergies between transport sector electrification and renewable energy.
The launch of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, which will examine how growing renewables deployment will impact geopolitical dynamics.
A two-day meeting of international legislators on renewable energy policy-making, including a day-long event with the UAE Federal National Council, which will discuss the role of renewables in advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in addressing climate change.
A high-level ministerial event that will seek to improve the capacity of small island developing states to develop and finance renewable energy projects.
Programmatic discussions on both days will focus on renewable energy policy, geothermal energy, scaling up solar PV, bioenergy for sustainable development, and renewable energy in the context of sustainable development and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement on climate.
Finally, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and IRENA will announce the recipients of funding allocated through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.
IRENA will also hold an art exhibition called Visions of Sustainability. During it, sound artist Bill Fontana will present multimedia works on renewable energy created especially for the event, and sustainability thought leader William McDonough and initiator and pilot of Solar Impulse Bertrand Piccard will share their visions for a sustainable future.