International Press Articles

pv-magazine.gifAt the founding conference for IRENA, pv magazine spoke with Michael Eckhart, chairman of the WCRE and president and founder of ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) about how the agency should be organized and what it will take to get the United States on board. 1 March 2009.

An NGO for Governments

You wrote Hillary Clinton the day she took office. Has there been any response?
Yes, they decided that the person they were sending to IRENA on the second day was now going to be there on the first day. That sounds small, but it’s huge.

What needs to happen for the U.S. to join?
First, someone within the government has to make a proposal to join. Under the Bush administration, no one would. I think the Obama administration will, but that’s not going to happen overnight. But they did change the U.S. position in just a few days. Clinton has been in office since Tuesday, January 20, and the decision to send someone to the founding conference for IRENA on the first day was made that week - probably the same day that Clinton took office. That’s amazing, considering that she is clearly working on Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Israel, and so forth.  

To read the full interview, please click here.

pc_sonnenblume120.jpgArticle published by Ulf Bossel from the European Fuel Cell Forum and member of the advisory committee of the WCRE

Sustainability and Energy

The words "sustainable" and "sustainability" have become fashionable. Investments are called "sustainable" if profit is guaranteed for a number of years. Paper mills receive "sustainability" awards for recycling waste water and natural gas is claimed to become "sustainable" when it is converted to hydrogen by steam reforming. These examples show that the true meaning of the word is not properly understood. "Sustainability" needs to be defined. Things as such cannot be sustainable. Only processes can be organized in a sustainable way.

Article published by Dr. Hermann Scheer (General Chair, World Council for Renewable Energy) in: Droege, P. Ed. 2009. 100 Per Cent Renewable - Energy Autonomy in Action. Earthscan.

A global champion for the massive proliferation of renewable energy: the International Renewable Energy Agency

From Hermann Scheer, German Parliament Member, Founding President Eurosolar, General Chair, World Council for Renewable Energy

"Mandated by governments worldwide, IRENA aims at becoming the main driving force in promoting a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale.

Acting as the global voice for renewable energies, IRENA will provide practical advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, help them improve their regulatory frameworks and build capacity.

The agency will facilitate access to all relevant information including reliable data on the potential of renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms and state-of-the-art technological expertise." (IRENA 2009)

scheer_hand120.jpgSpeech of Hermann Scheer, President of EUROSOLAR and General Chairman of the WCRE at the Founding Conference of the International Renewable Energy Agency on 26. January 2009 in Bonn, Germany

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow colleagues from the German Parliament, dear friends of IRENA,

Today we inaugurated the milestone for the global move to renewable energy - a move made in a higher speed than ever before.

bioethanol120.jpgArticle published by Dr. Wolfgang Palz, Chairman World Council for Renewable Energy, prepared for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting 2008, Saint Lucia, 6-8 October 2008

Keith Ballinger/Masterfile

Biofuels and the Global Food Crisis - Are Biofuels an Evil or a New Opportunity?

Agricultural commodity prices started to rise sharply in 2006 culminating at new records in the first months of 2008. Globally, the import bill for foodstuff in 2007 increased by 29%; this, in combination with an even more dramatic price increase of all conventional energies such as oil, coal, gas, and Uranium on the global markets, became an economic and social disaster for many countries, in particular for the “low-income, net-importing” countries. Dozens of them import a 100% of their petroleum needs and a major part of their demand in grain: 30% of their population suffers from chronic hunger.

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