UAE | Environment

Renewable energy in developing countries to inspire world

Around 160 countries joined Irena within a few years — an unprecedented achievement

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:57 October 16, 2012
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Initiatives in renewable energy in developing countries will inspire the world to adopt clean energy to address energy poverty and climate change caused by pollution, a top official of International Renewable Energy Agency said on Monday.

A group of Pacific island nations which used to generate 100 per cent energy from imported diesel, have now started heavily investing in renewable energy, said Adnan Z Ameen, Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency, at a press briefing.

The UAE is also playing a great role in this transformation as the country is investing in a 10 megawatt solar power project in the island nation of Tonga, he said. Tonga has set a target to generate 100 per cent energy from renewables by 2030, he said. Many developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East have also made such roadmaps and policy frameworks to adopt renewable energy, Ameen pointed out.

In the Middle East, Morocco has invested $1.1 billion (Dh4 billion) in renewable energy in 2011. Saudi Arabia plans to generate 41 gigawatt energy within a few years, which will save half a million barrels of oil used for energy generation. Such initiatives after the UAE’s lead to host Irena in Abu Dhabi has changed the discussion on global climate change. The nations producing (polluting) hydrocarbons are leading the discussions to promote clean energy, Ameen said.

He said the Irena is trying to change culture and philosophy of development in the international arena. The existing model is donor-recipient relationship between international funding agencies and developing nations which produced mixed results. Ameen said Irena is trying a participatory model in which public and private sectors work together to promote renewable energy.

About 160 countries have joined Irena within a few years and it is an unprecedented achievement for a international organisation.

A series of activities in the coming months will help promote renewable energy, Ameen said. The World Energy Forum in Dubai from October 22 to 24 is a major event. It is the first time this event is being held away from UN headquarters in New York. He congratulated Dubai Government not only for hosting the event but initiating investments in renewable energy recently.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January will also be a major event.

Ameen was elected the first director general of Irena in April 2011. In his capacity, he is responsible for leading the agency in the implementation of its mandate to promote the adoption and use of renewable energy worldwide.

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