Piebalgs heralds EU membership of Irena

EUROPE: The EU has proved its commitment to renewable energy by joining the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), says outgoing EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

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In its decision to become the 138th member of Irena, the bloc has shown that the promotion of renewable energy sources worldwide is a key element of (the EU's) external energy policy Piebalgs says.

"Making this shift today, rather then later, benefits us in terms of the climate, security of supply and also the economy."

The agency was established in January 2009 with the aim of becoming a centre of excellence for renewable energy.

Its duties include advising governments on drawing up renewable programmes, disseminating information about renewable technologies, implementing training activities and advising on best practice and financing options.

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