Institutional Structure

The principal organs of the Agency are:

The Assembly

The Assembly is IRENA’s ultimate decision-making authority and is made up of one representative from each Member. It convenes annually to discuss and decide upon issues such as the work programme, the budget, the adoption of reports, applications for membership and potential amendments to Agency activities.

The eighth session of the IRENA Assembly will be held on 13 and 14 January 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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First Session (2011): The first IRENA Assembly was the inaugural meeting of IRENA’s supreme governing body. It marked the official launch of IRENA as an international organization and attracted significant attention. More than 1000 participants attended the Assembly, including one head of state, over 50 ministers, 30 ministerial-level officials, 670 country delegates, 130 observers and officials, and 70 accredited media.

Second Session (2012): The second IRENA Assembly attracted more than 800 delegates and speakers representing 133 countries and 57 organisations, and including 64 ministers and other high-level officials. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made a special address to the delegates on the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

Third Session (2013): At the third IRENA Assembly, Member States called for the Agency to continue scaling-up its work to promote renewable energy worldwide with a strengthened mission and streamlined structure. IRENA’s more than 100 Members decided that the Agency would serve as a centre of excellence, advisory resource and hub to promote and accelerate renewable energy deployment.

Fourth Session (2014): The fourth session of the Assembly took place on 18 and 19 January 2014 in Abu Dhabi. Many Member States highlighted IRENA’s increasing visibility as the global voice for renewable energy in light of its increasing membership.

Fifth Session (2015): At the fifth IRENA Assembly, more than 1000 delegates pushed for an expansion of renewable energy. Numerous reports were launched, including Renewable Power Generation Costs 2014 and Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy & Food Nexus. “RESource”, a renewables search engine, was also launched, and five recipients of the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility loans were announced.

Sixth Session (2016): The sixth session of the Assembly focused on several key elements to accelerate the renewable energy transition, including finance and investment, innovation and the power sector transformation. Continuing on from the solutions theme at COP21, the Assembly highlighted a portfolio of IRENA tools and resources that can help support countries, businesses and investors in scaling up renewable energy worldwide.

Seventh Session (2016): At the seventh session of the Assembly, a number of strategic and programmatic discussions took place around central themes of the Agency’s work and mandate. The discussions promoted an exchange of information and best practices among Members and experts in support of efforts to increase the uptake of renewable energy.


The Council

IRENA’s Council is accountable to the Assembly and is composed of 21 Members elected for a two-year term on a rotating basis with the view of ensuring the effective participation of both developing and developed countries and the fair and equitable geographical distribution and effectiveness of the Council’s work. The Council, among other responsibilities stipulated in Article X of the Statute, facilitates consultations and cooperation among Members and considers the draft work programme, draft budget and annual report.

The fourteenth meeting of the Council will take place on 28 and 29 November 2017 in Abu Dhabi.

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IRENA’s seventh Assembly elected the following countries to serve on the Council in 2017: Argentina, the Bahamas, Belgium, Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Samoa, Sudan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, and Zimbabwe. Bangladesh, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, France, Kenya, Malaysia, Panama, the Philippines, Spain and Uruguay act as alternates.

Two Committees currently assist the Council in its work:

Administration and Finance Committee
Chair : Antigua & Barbuda
Members : Fiji, France, India, Iran, Israel

Programme and Strategy Committee
Chair : Unites States of America
Vice Chair : Samoa
Members : Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Philippines


The Secretariat

The Secretariat, which comprises the Director-General and his staff, provides administrative and technical support to the Assembly, the Council and their subsidiary bodies. It is responsible, among other things, for preparing and submitting the Agency’s draft work programme, budget and annual report and for implementing the work programme.

Material on the Preparatory Commission

The three main programmatic areas are:

The Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC) is a global knowledge repository and centre of excellence for renewables policy and finance issues. KPFC provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for statistics on costs, employment and resource potential, along with research on policies, investment frameworks and socio-economic and environmental impact for renewable energy technologies. The division analyses economic value creation, including income, jobs, fiscal transfers, balance of trade and local/regional context, and supports policy makers with tools to maximise the renewable energy value chain. Another key project for KPFC is the Global Renewable Energy Atlas, the largest-ever initiative to assess renewables potential worldwide. The Internet-based platform provides high-quality resource maps from leading technical institutes worldwide and simplified models for evaluating technical potential. The Global Atlas aims to become the first reference point for renewable resource data and a catalyst for planning, policy development and investment in emerging and new renewable energy markets.

The Country Support and Partnerships (CSP) division helps countries and regions accelerate the introduction of renewable energy. The division works with a wide variety of public and private stakeholders on developing and implementing strategies to achieve a greater share of renewable electricity in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and islands. CSP conducts Renewable Readiness Assessments (RRAs), a country-led approach to identify priority actions to boost renewable energy deployment, with buy-in from all key stakeholders. The division has launched IRENA’s Global Renewable Energy Islands Network (GREIN), with clusters of islands working together on resource assessment, power grid applications, technology deployment roadmaps, and renewable energy for tourism. It is also developing a Renewable Energy Policy Advice Network (REPAN) to assist in IRENA’s work on RRAs and power grids, and working to strengthen regional cooperation on grid infrastructure to increase renewables in the energy mix.

The Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC), in Bonn, Germany, provides cutting-edge information on renewable energy technologies and innovations, while seeking new pathways for the global transition to a sustainable energy future. As a centre of excellence for renewable energy technology and innovation, IITC stays abreast of the latest developments and translates them into practical, policy-friendly tools for IRENA’s Members. IRENA’s researchers produce ground-breaking, and continually updated, cost data for renewable energy technologies, assistance with energy technology planning, project development, and strategies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation for renewable energy. IRENA seeks to engage a broad range of stakeholders through the Renewable Costing Alliance and in the development of REMAP 2030, a roadmap for doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.