International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Context: The COVID­19 crisis offers an unexpected opportunity for countries to decouple their economies from fossil fuels and accelerate the shift to renewable energy sources, says the World Energy Transitions Outlook report, brought out by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

  • It estimated that by 2050, 90% of total electricity needs would be supplied by renewables, followed by 6% from natural gas and the remaining from nuclear.


  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future with its headquarters at Abu Dhabi.
  • IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.
  • The IRENA Statute stipulates that membership in the agency is open to those states that are members of the United Nations, and to regional intergovernmental economic-integration organisations.
  • IRENA came into existence in 2011 and has 163 member countries (including India) at present (March 2021).

The Assembly

  • This is IRENA’s ultimate decision-making authority which convenes annually and is made up of one representative from each

The Council

  • The IRENA Council is composed of 21 Member States elected for a two-year term and is accountable to the Assembly. Council members serve on a rotating basis to ensure the effective participation of both developing and developed countries and a fair and equitable geographical distribution.

Do you know?

  • Global Renewable Energy Atlas is the world’s largest-ever joint renewable resource data project, coordinated by IRENA.
  • IRENA will create Indian Ocean Region’s first and most comprehensive map and database of areas having potential renewable energy generation capacity.
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