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IRENA Launches Global Solar and Wind Energy Atlas, Signs Partnership with OLADE

IRENA19 June 2012: During a side event held at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), together with the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), launched the “Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy” project, the largest-ever initiative to assess global renewable energy potential.

Adnan Amin, IRENA Director-General, indicated that the Atlas is expected to become the principle resource for renewable energy development, stressing that it is an important part of IRENA's strategy to work with countries to promote renewable energy through knowledge sharing, capacity building and international cooperation.

The side event also featured a high-level expert panel discussion on the need for international cooperation on mapping global renewable energy resources and important information needed by decision-makers, such as: the potential of renewables to fulfill domestic energy demand; where these resources are located; how much investment is required; and if a large enough domestic market exists to create a supply chain.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, announced that the UAE will create its own Solar Atlas by early 2013. This project will be undertaken by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, IRENA and other partners.

Closing the meeting, IRENA and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) signed a partnership agreement to further progress on renewable energies in Latin America. [IISD RS Coverage of Rio+20 Side Events] [IRENA Press Release]