Thanks to the 2013 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (we were invited to), some new development partnerships between United Arab Emirates renewables company, Masdar, and both the Jordanian and French governments were formed; Greenpeace released Jordan’s Energy Future, their first report specific to the Arab world; and now Green Prophet’s learned that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi just launched a Global Renewable Energy Atlas.
The new atlas shines a light on the world’s wind and solar infrastructure and, by cataloging resources into an open-access web-based tool, aims to accelerate adoption of clean energy technology. The Global Atlas is the most comprehensive information platform on the potential of renewable energy.
Consolidating renewable energy data from leading technical institutes into a single, free encyclopedia enables countries to easily assess their national clean energy potential and facilitate companies considering investments in renewables. The Atlas also provides detailed resource maps and tools for evaluating the technical potential of renewable energies. It aims to serve as a catalyst for policy development and planning.
“Assessing renewable energy resources is the necessary first step in answering these questions and in eventually creating an enabling market environment for deploying renewable energy. This first step requires large upfront investment in evaluation, and a high level of technical knowledge. That is why a global and open portal providing this information can make it easier to take this first step,” IRENA sources told the Khaleej Times.
The agency acknowledges that the map is incomplete, stating, “In the build-up phase, the availability of data will vary from region to region depending on what has been made available to the initiative. There will also be variation in the temporal and spatial resolution of the available data”.
By next year, IRENA hopes to expand the datasets to include geothermal, bioenergy and marine energy.
IRENA was founded in 2009 to promote increased worldwide adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. Abu Dhabi was elected as interim headquarters of the Agency, and the current Director-General is Adnan Amin, a Pakistani who was born and raised in Kenya.
There are currently 104 member states, with a further 55 countries either applicants for membership or signatories to IRENA. China has recently announced its intention to join the agency.
Image of signatories to IRENA from IRENA
Looking for more ways to dive into renewable energy in the Middle East? Visit the 5th MENASOL Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference & Expo; 14-15 May, Dubai. Click here for the MENASOL website.