Our Vision

Renewable Energy – the key element of Sustainable Development

All people are entitled to pursue a world increasing in bounty, improving in health, and growing in its capacity to host life. Each person might wish that his or her presence on this Earth will leave it slightly better off than before. Sustainable Development has become the vision for such an improved and long lasting model of world society. Yet the economic progress of the 20th century, based on fossil fuels, nuclear energy and large-scale hydro power, while advancing human society in many ways, also created a rising threat to a sustainable world. Considering Renewable Energy as the only energy option that contributes holistically to the overall goal of economic growth, social development, energy security, and environmental protection, promising a brighter, safer, and cleaner future for our and coming generations, Renewable Energy is the key element of Sustainable Development. Contributing to the global search for improving the status quo and responding to calls for better solution from every corner of the world, the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) develops and promotes policies on multinational, governmental, regional and local levels in favour of the wise and prudent use of natural and renewable forms of energy. In particular today, in times of emerging global governance structures that must be designed appropriately to solve global problems, the world needs non-governmental advice from global organisations such as the WCRE.

Mission & Objectives, WCRE – the global voice for Renewable Energy

The World Council, a globally operating independent organisation, is the global voice for Renewable Energy in the concert of global energy discussion. A voice speaking for the benefits of Renewable Energy for the quality of people’s life, for protecting the climate, renewing the industries, avoiding external costs, saving long-term costs and keeping peace. A voice challenging governments and international organisations to finally set their priorities on Renewable Energy and force the replacement of conventional energies. A voice to help transcend lip services often paid to comprehensive practice towards achieving a "grand strategy" for Renewable Energy.

WCRE – global leadership forum for Renewable Energy

The WCRE tries to bring Renewable Energy into the mainstream of world economy and lifestyle to transform it into a solar world economy. To accomplish this the WCRE serves as a leadership forum for all Renewable Energy sectors, building a greater sense of common purpose among the global Renewable Energy and related communities. Its mission to convince the global opinion of the potentials of Renewable Energy while showing the undesirable developments, the dangers, hidden costs and the damage to civilisation, caused by conventional energy supply. The WCRE is dedicated to motivate and encourage governments and enterprises to develop strategies for Renewable Energy. It seeks to unify Renewable Energy interests and help forge the necessary alliances – integrating those parts of the conventional energy economy which accompany them on their way towards Renewable Energy without accepting conventional barriers. It is the world’s forum for the political and economic concepts that are most suitable to assist in rapidly accelerating the introduction of Renewable Energy.

Scope - Promoting all Renewable Energy Options

WCRE promotes all of the Renewable Energy options including:

  • solar energy
  • wind energy
  • biomass energy and biofuels
  • hydro energy
  • geothermal energy
  • hydrogen energy systems

In addition, WCRE’s scope includes the promotion of other related technologies that enhance the value of Renewable Energy including conservation and demand management, energy efficiency, energy storage, and hybrid energy systems.

Philosophy - Dedicated to the Renewable Energy Revolution

The conventional energy economy is based on the theory that we cannot do without fossil and nuclear energy - in spite of the fact that this theory proved to be wrong, it operates within the established structures of energy supply. Therefore, the established energy economy cannot be neutral towards all energy sources. It was developed and designed to provide today's dominant energy supply. All the main energy players - enterprises, non-governmental organisations like the World Energy Council, and governmental organisations like the International Energy Agency - are set up upon the principles and structures of the highly centralised and heavily funded fossil and nuclear energy system. Thus, even the World Energy Council recognises that “there is ... the barrier posed by the existing investments and interests in fossil fuel and nuclear energy provision and use” and it proposes “a single organisation to give international focus and leadership to the increased use of renewable energy”. The World Council for Renewable Energy is an independent, non-government organisation, unique in being solely committed to Renewable Energy worldwide and who responds to the need of an adequate representation of decentralised and small Renewable Energy organisations, consumers and producers. The WCRE is free of vested interests of the present global energy system and has no commitments to governments and international organisations, which have abiding interests in the conventional energy economy.

Means - Information, Setting the Agenda, Networking

WCRE promotes greater public awareness of Renewable Energy and its benefits for sustainable energy supply, national and global security, economic growth, industry productivity, human health, a cleaner, healthier environment and a world-wide credible prospect for global ecosystem survival. WCRE’s major areas of activity encompass information, agenda setting and networking.

Information

WCRE strives to improve worldwide understanding about Renewable Energy policy and strategy issues. WCRE works with its members to develop agendas, publish documents and organise conferences to globally promote Renewable Energy. Among the most important issues are information about the massive and immediate need for Renewable Energy and its availability for all power demands, analysis of the barriers to Renewable Energy promulgation and the preparation of proposals to overcome these. Furthermore, experiences of initiatives for Renewable Energy will be documented, best-practice examples globally communicated and advanced technological opportunities and applications of Renewable Energy Technologies evaluated. One of its main events to inform the international public and experts is the World Renewable Energy Forum.

Setting the Agenda

WCRE is committed to stimulate international organisations and governments to create policies and strategies to introduce Renewable Energy and to enlarge their share on the overall energy supply. The WCRE applies all its strength to elaborate and place onto the international agenda the following policies and strategies. These are enshrined in the WCRE’s Global Action Plan for the Proliferation of Renewable Energy:

  • An International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

WCRE advanced the establishment of an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as uniquely and entirely dedicated to the international transfer of Renewable Energy technology, in analogy to the International Atomic Energy Agency’ (IAEA) promotion of nuclear energy technology transfer. IRENA has a legal status as an autonomous organisation to serve as an intergovernmental body with 134 member states and an annual budget of over 200 million USD. The function of IRENA is particularly to assist in building human resources and institutional capacity in the field of Renewable Energy, including cooperation by establishing Centres for the Application of Renewable Energies on regional levels, to help facilitate the local absorption of the transferred technology, know-how and services.

  • A Renewable Energy Proliferation Treaty

The proposed Renewable Energy Proliferation Treaty is designed as a supplementary and complementary protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to permit the signatory States to fulfil their internal and mutual obligations by supplying aid in form of Renewable Energy instead of nuclear energy technologies.

  • Focusing development aid funds on the promotion of Renewable Energy

Individual governments and international governmental and non-governmental organisations should review their development aid schemes in order to implement the promotion of Renewable Energy as a main strategy. Renewable Energies are a mean to fight poverty as they are a comparatively inexpensive way to use energy service, to create jobs and to combat rural exodus.

  • Conversion of conventional energy subsidies and public incentives into Renewable Energy promotion

The glaring contrast between today’s high nuclear and fossil energy subsidies and the marginal public support for Renewable Energies needs to be overcome. These energy subsidies must be gradually converted into Renewable Energy promotion programs. For example, it is essential that development assistance programs of industrialised countries and leading practices of international development banks place absolute priority on Renewable Energy within their respective energy portfolios.

  • Global and national targets and strategies for the introduction of Renewable Energy, based on best-practice experience

National targets need to be determined in order to increase the share of Renewable Energy on the overall energy supply. The WCRE-promoted minimum annual growth rate of 2% can only be achieved by adjusting national regulatory frameworks.

  • Global Industrial Norms and Standards

The WCRE appeals to the United Nations to advance the standardisation of norms for Renewable Energy Technologies to assure the compatibility of different technical components and to facilitate the trade of Renewable Energy Technologies.

  • New Approach to Energy Statistics

The WCRE calls upon the United Nations to develop together with ISO/TC203 and member states’ statistical offices a new energy statistics data base and forecasting methodology. All energy sources are to be included here – e.g. Renewable Energy sources in both commercial and non-commercial form – in order to permit a consistent and comprehensive account of the true available energy potential and to make complete energy planning and forecasting possible, taking also all energy transport options into consideration. For accounting electricity the substitution principle should be employed not only to nuclear but also to power derived from the sun, water and wind. Furthermore, the passive use of solar energy such as in solar buildings should be taken into consideration.

  • Complete Emission Measurements for the Clean Development Mechanism and Emission Trading under the Kyoto Protocol

The WCRE appeals to governments to permit only such Clean Development Mechanisms, which are based on a complete calculation of energy system emissions and to disallow not, for example, rewards for emission reduction schemes when total primary energy use is actually increased due to longer transport distances. Beyond that, WCRE requests the World Trade Organisation to develop in cooperation with ISO appropriate environmental standards for energy trade, in order to limit the free trade to such energy carriers and conversion technologies that are emission free.

  • Elimination of trade barriers for Renewable Energy Generation, Conservation and Efficiency Technologies

The WCRE appeals to the World Trade Organisation to generally exclude Renewable Energy Technologies from tariffs in order to overcome the paradoxical inequity that lies in international trade in fossil primary energies being subject to fewer limitations than trade in Renewable Energy Generation, Conservation and Energy Efficiency Technologies.

  • Aggressive financing for Renewable Energy through zero and low interest rate investments

National and international development banks need to go on the offensive to finance Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency via zero-interest-rate and low-interest-rate grants. This financing initiative must include co-operation with private development banks, solar energy finance institutions and Renewable Energy investment funds, which are active on local level.

  • Conversion Strategies for Fossil-Energy-Producing countries

WCRE works on strategies to include fossil energy exporting countries in the means of transcending fossil energy driven national economies and dependencies. It also calls upon fossil energy importing countries to support fossil energy exporting nations to adjust in time to the impending massive structural shift caused by the inexorable global conversion from fossil to Renewable Energy. During its First World Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy Forum in Berlin 2002 the WCRE appealed to the international community to form the “Group of Renewable and Efficient Energy Nations” (GREEN Nations) which recognises global Renewable Energy proliferation as a key strategy for sustainable development worldwide. Inspired by this initiative more than 80 nations signed a Joint Declaration for Common Initiatives to Promote Renewable Energy globally at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002.

Networking

The third pillar of WCRE`s activities is to network and to be the leadership forum of the global Renewable Energy community. As a network organisation WCRE assists its members and participants in expanding their relationships with the international Renewable Energy community.

  • World Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy Forum

One of the major activities in this field is the organisation of the World Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy Forum. The First World Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy Forum was held in Berlin 2002 with more than 50 outstanding speakers and 500 delegates. Experts and key people from governmental and non-governmental organisations from all over the world came together and exchanged the latest ideas on policies and strategies of Renewable Energy. At this occasion the First World Forum presented an Action Plan for the Global Proliferation of Renewable Energy to the international community and demanded the formation of a Group of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Nations (GREEN Nations). In 2004 the WCRE was a driving force behind the International Governmental Conference on Renewable Energy to which the German Chancellor invited the governments in his speech in Johannesburg to the WSSD.

  • Membership Meeting

The WCRE brings its members together with its Advisory Board and Chairmen Committee during the World Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy Forum. In this meetings new strategies for the overall aim to globally promote Renewable Energy are discussed. Members express their views and give a substantial contribution to the development of the whole organisation.

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