Abu Dhabi: The world is witnessing an unprecedented transformation of energy system, with increased deployment of renewable energy, a top official said here on Saturday at an important meeting of an international agency. 

“Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments that are positioning renewable energy solutions at the centre of energy discussion today,” said Adnan Z Ameen, Director-General of Abu Dhabi based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). 

He was addressing the opening session of the seventh Assembly of the Irena, the highest decision-making body of the agency. 

Government officials from more than 150 countries and leaders from international organisations, the private sector and civil society are participating in the assembly in Abu Dhabi. They discuss charting a pathway to a sustainable energy future. 

The meeting brings together the international community to advance the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition and a decarbonisation of the global energy mix.

Ameen added: “It is no longer a question of whether or if, but of how we can accelerate this change to move towards a global, sustainable and affordable low-carbon energy future.”

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, following a day of preliminary meetings and discussions on Friday, including the second Irena Legislator’s Forum, the Seventh Assembly is focusing on the Irena’s strategic and programmatic direction to support countries accelerate deployment of renewable energy, which will in turn meet climate goals, boost the economy, and increase energy access and security.

Highlights of this year’s Assembly include: two ministerial roundtables covering innovation in the power sector and catalysing off-grid renewable energy deployment for development; programmatic discussions on scaling-up private sector renewable energy uptake and driving energy sector decarbonisation through innovation. 

The assembly will also witness the announcement of projects in developing countries receiving loans worth $44.5 million (Dh 163.32 million) under the fourth round of the Irena/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility.

The Assembly will also feature the launch of ‘REthinking Energy 2017’ which examines the latest trends in renewable energy and the dramatic changes in the energy sector in many countries.

The Assembly also marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and precedes the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), a global gathering of of energy leaders and decision makers. 

Throughout the week, Irena will host and will participate in a series of events, covering topics ranging from the decarbonisation of energy systems to the scaling up of variable renewable power.