Open Letter to the Members of IRENA

Open Letter from The International Renewable Energy Alliance

17 June 2009,

Bonn/Freiburg/London/Reykjavik/Stockholm and Launceston

To the Founding Members of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)Distinguished Representatives of the Founding Members of IRENA,

The International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance) and its five member associations representing all major renewable energy technologies have been supportive of the initiative to create an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for many years.The members of the REN Alliance have encouraged many Governments to join IRENA and have strongly welcomed the foundation of IRENA in Bonn in January this year. We are very pleased about the great success with already 100 founding IRENA members. For this success we would like to congratulate and thank all governments and involved persons,following the work of the initiating governments of Germany, Denmark and Spain.

The main reason why the REN Alliance has been so strongly supporting IRENA is the urgent need for an independent body on the international level which can further the cause of renewable energy based on the authority of Governments from all over the world. Existing international organisations have not been able to fulfil such a role and to provide sufficient leadership in this, partly because they are also occupied with other important tasks, sometimes involving interests which may rather be adverse to an accelerated deployment of renewable energy.

Soon you as the IRENA founding members will make two decisions which will be crucial for the future work and success of IRENA – the seat of administration as well as the director general.This REN Alliance sees it as basic precondition that the agency can work independently,fully and exclusively committed to renewable energies and representing broad expertise in renewable energies.


It seems of essential importance that the IRENA headquarters is situated in an environment which is favourable for renewable energy. It will be beneficial for IRENA if there is a high degree of leading expertise and concrete experience in renewable energy deployment available in the vicinity of IRENA H.Q., be it in government, business or science.Besides, we are of the opinion that the interim headquarters of IRENA should be based in a country that has championed the concept of IRENA at least over the last five years. We suspect that, with many other countries becoming involved, there may well be a call for the
seat to be rotated periodically in the future.

IRENA Director General

The Interim Director General has to be an independent personality with a clear commitment to renewable energy, including a clear track record and long-term involvement in renewable energy. It is essential that such a person has the highest level of management skills and a background conducive to the goal of IRENA: to accelerate the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energies worldwide. He/she must be able to integrate the various approaches and interests amongst the Member States as well as within the renewable energy communities. Again, the position of the Director General should be time-bound, and should reflect the international remit of the Agency.

In Summary:

We firmly believe in the need for a strong IRENA to achieve the goal of an accelerated deployment of renewable energy in all parts of the world. In this sense, we would like to encourage all IRENA Founding Members to make a decision which gives a real push for renewable energy worldwide. Industrialised as well as developing countries will benefit from this commitment being no longer dependent on resource constrained fossil fuels and/or nuclear energy resources.

Once again, we congratulate the Founding Members for their courageous step when they decided to create IRENA. The foundation of IRENA is a great breakthrough on the international level for renewable energies and IRENA has the potential to become the most important achievement reached so far. As International Renewable Energy Alliance we are ready and willing to contribute as much as we can to the total success of IRENA.

With kind regards,

International Renewable Energy Alliance
Hon. Peter Rae AO, Chairman

Arni Ragnasson, International Geothermal Association IGA, Tel: +354 588 4437; Fax:+354 588 4431;;

Richard Taylor, International Hydropower Association IHA, Tel: +44 20 8652 5290; Fax:+44 20 8643 5600;;

Christine Hornstein, International Solar Energy Society ISES, Tel: +49 761 45906-91;Fax: +49 761 45906-99;;

Kent Nyström, World Bioenergy Association WBA, Tel: +46 706768538; Fax: +46 844170 89;;

Stefan Gsänger, World Wind Energy Association WWEA, Tel: +49 228 36940-80; Fax:+49 228 36940-84;;

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