A session of the IRENA General Assembly took place during 11-13 January 2019, in Abu Dhabi, where Romania was represented by a delegation of the Ministry of Energy, headed by State Secretary Iulian-Robert Tudorache.
Several ministerial debates were organized on the sidelines of the event, on universal access to electricity, sustainable development and transformation through innovation of the energy system. During the plenary session, issues related to geopolitics and energy transition, social and economic benefits of using renewable energy sources and hydropower were addressed.
Romania, as President of the EU Council, chaired the EU MS Coordination meeting on 11 January 2019, where an important aspect of coordination was the appointment of IRENA’s new Director-General and the coordination of Member States to support the European candidate for IRENA.
At the IRENA plenary session on 13 January 2019, following the vote expressed by members of IRENA’s General Assembly, Francesco La Camera, an Italian official, was selected to be the next Director-General of IRENA for 4 years, replacing in office the current Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, who has held this position since 2011.
On 14 January, State Secretary Iulian-Robert Tudorache delivered a keynote opening address at the European Union Energy Day on sectoral integration and the clean energy transition (during the World Future Energy Summit – part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week), in which he presented Romania’s energy sector priorities during EU Council Presidency and highlighted the need for investment to achieve the objectives of reducing pollution and access for as many people as possible to energy sources.
“The issue of ensuring energy for all citizens, in line with environmental policies, should, in our view, focus on three directions: energy security, energy poverty and the environmental problems faced by each country. But to achieve these goals, it is not enough that efforts to combat the effects of climate change be made only by the EU Member States, a global effort of all nations being needed. At the same time, in order to get where we plan, we need to attract considerable investment, and much of this will have to come from the private sector. Energy transition will deeply transform the current economic model and will have strong effects on society. In order for this transition to be successful, it is necessary that the inherent technological challenges of adapting to the new energy system and the socio-economic challenges be carefully analysed,” State Secretary Iulian-Robert Tudorache said.
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The ninth session of the Assembly of IRENA took place at the St Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Assembly is the Agency’s supreme decision-making body and brings together Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organizations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.
Two ministerial roundtables took place during the Assembly, featuring Ministers and high-level participants. They discussed the role of renewables in achieving universal energy access and the transformative impact innovation is having in the renewable energy sector. A special evening event on ‘Gender in the Energy Transformation’ marked the launch of a new IRENA publication on the topic and feature an interactive discussion on the gender dimension of the energy transformation.
The Assembly’s Plenary discussions featured presentations and provided opportunities for contributions from IRENA Member delegations, stakeholder groups and the private sector. Plenaries focused on aspects of the Agency’s work and actions by countries in the development and deployment of renewables. The Assembly also considered the conclusions of 16th Council and provided guidance on specific administrative and institutional matters.
The thematic meetings organized by IRENA raise awareness of the importance of renewable energy and its impact on sustainable development. They also connect policy makers, experts and innovators from many countries to learn from each other, share good practices and inform decision makers by identifying shared needs and finding common ground on shared priorities.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an independent multinational organization that promotes the development and implementation of the use of renewable resources worldwide by supporting promotion policies, experience exchanges and technology transfer in the field.
IRENA acts as a centre of excellence for renewable resource technology by providing advice on the development of renewable energy policies and helping member countries benefit from an efficient transfer of technology and knowledge.
Romania is a founding member of IRENA, an agency founded in 2009.