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International Renewable Energy Agency, IAEA Sign Cooperation Agreement

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The agreement between the IAEA and IRENA will strengthen the two organizations' efforts to combat global warming and mitigate climate change. (Photo: Nicole Jawerth/IAEA)

Training of national experts in energy planning is the focus of a new cooperation agreement between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the IAEA. Both agencies are supporting their respective Member States in efforts to combat global warming and mitigate climate change.

The 'Practical arrangements on cooperation in the area of capacity building in the field of energy planning' will capitalize on the complementary competencies of the two organizations, said Dazhu Yang, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation.

“Joining our efforts will help us combine our capacity building opportunities and avoid duplication of efforts,” he said.

The agreement, signed by Director-General of IRENA Adnan Z. Amin in Abu Dhabi on 27 September and by Yang on 2 November in Vienna, establishes a framework for cooperation in the area of energy planning and aims to enhance the effectiveness and impact of capacity building efforts in that area.

The Agreement identifies several areas for cooperation, including: exchange of unclassified information on capacity building needs and existing energy planning capabilities in the two organizations’ respective Member States, sharing of data and methodologies at capacity building events, participation in training events held by the two organizations, cooperation in the development of national and regional case studies as appropriate, and consultations between the two organizations with a view to combining capacity building opportunities.

IRENA and the IAEA have already carried out a number of joint training events and activities using IAEA energy planning models such as MESSAGE to optimize energy supply and the MAED to analyse energy demand. For example, IRENA has developed a system planning test case study built on the IAEA’s MESSAGE energy planning tool that allows national energy planners to assess their future energy mix from economic, technical and environmental perspectives. The IAEA has also provided technical expertise in the use of MESSAGE  in joint training events.

The software MESSAGE helps Member States map out a complete supply chain within the entire energy sector. Data and information on energy technologies and fuels are used to construct energy flows starting from all available resources — for example coal, oil, gas, nuclear and renewables — and leading up to final energy services such as electricity, heat and gasoline. The software allows users to simultaneously analyse a wide range of criteria such as costs, investment needs, supply security, resource utilization and rates for the introduction of new technologies for determining the best combination of options, which may include nuclear energy.

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA encourages governments to adopt enabling policies for renewable energy investments, provides practical tools and policy advice to accelerate renewable energy deployment and facilitates knowledge sharing and technology transfer to provide clean, sustainable energy for the world’s growing population.

The IAEA helps Member States chart their energy strategies, including whether or not to include nuclear energy. Decisions on energy demand and supply infrastructures need to involve all stakeholders and to consider all possible energy supply and demand options, and should be consistent with national development goals. Capacity building for energy planning is delivered through the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme

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