Minister Rottge Inaugurates Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn (Germany)


Today Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Adnan Z. Amin inaugurated the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC) in Bonn.

The IITC is supported by the German government and aims to develop scientific scenarios for promoting renewable energies throughout the world, with a special focus on developing and newly industrialising countries. It will work closely with the IRENA headquarters in Abu Dhabi to advance the global transition to resource-efficient technologies. On the basis of the IITC´s technology and innovation analyses, IRENA can assist countries in establishing suitable frameworks, building competences and developing new financing models. Guest speakers at the inauguration included Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Federal Environment Minister Röttgen: “In view of a constantly rising global population and their justifiable wish for prosperity, we need a form of growth that is decoupled from resource consumption. Progress must be structured in a way which not only supplies future generations with sufficient energy and resources, but which also leaves them scope for action. Renewable energies are a decisive driving force for this new growth. IRENA, and especially the IITC, send a vital signal to the international community that the expansion of renewable energies is not just a national concern but one of considerable geopolitical importance: in particular, the support for newly industrialising and developing countries in the use and expansion of renewable energies also contributes to achieving greater global justice, for it gives the poorest countries their first access to energy and the opportunity to create value and growth.

During the symbolic presentation of the key to IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, Röttgen noted that setting up the Innovation and Technology Centre provided the expert basis for advising governments on renewables. The Federal Environment Ministry expressed his delight that the Centre had been established in Bonn, stating that this raised the profile of the UN city even higher as a location for international organisations.

Among the issues being addressed by the Innovation and Technology Centre are policies on technological development, with the aim of accelerating technological innovation for the expansion of renewable energies. The objective of the IITC is to fully tap the enormous potential of renewables, make them competitive more quickly and to open up new markets. The German government has earmarked between two and three million euros a year for the IITC. This funding is on top of the annual sum of 1.3 million US dollars for IRENA.

IRENA is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on the development of renewable energies. The organisation is available to all member states, both developing and industrialised countries, to assist them with expert advice.

IRENA was founded by 75 countries in January 2009 in Bonn. The number of signatories to the Statute has now doubled to 150. This reflects the growing interest in renewable energies worldwide and the trend towards sustainable energy supply. IRENA has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) where it took up its work in April 2011.

On behalf of the German government, the Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Development Ministry supported the IRENA founding process in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office.


Source: bundesumweltministerium, October 10, 2011