On IRENA and Its Degree of Reach - From Interstate Cooperation to Rural Practice
On IRENA and Its Degree of Reach - From Interstate Cooperation to Rural Practice
By Marta Lobo / filmsforaction.org


Discussions on energy in general are relevant for two reasons: first, most of us not only just use energy but we also recognise its absolutely indispensable role to allow us to function in our routines, assure the continuation of the economic systems we rely upon, and to put simply to allow for the survival of mankind; second, we finally have come to accept that energy sources and supply chains as we know them are unsustainable and that the current dominating energy systems will end sooner rather than later, threatening all fundamental structures of our existences, from means of production, to transportation, and including social relations.

It is thus crucial to move on from oil-based energy resources and fossil fuels to alternative, more sustainable ones. The importance of this shift was initiated some 20 years ago when governments first became significantly attached to commitment by adhering to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change). It was then than national political leaders were first brought to attention that not only the possibility of the eventual end of fuel-based energy sources was real but more importantly, the negative impact that usages of these sources was having on climate, the environment, and species, including ours. Whereas this was not such a straight forward process, decades later, the creation of IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency), the rapid adherence it generated, and its growing performance within the international sphere clearly demonstrate interstate commitment to as well as recognition of the importance of this shift from usages of largely polluting and already scarce energy sources, to a rather joint effort to use sustainable renewable ones.  Now a strong organisation, IRENA has conquered a place of its own alongside the much longer existing IEA (International Energy Agency) created in 1974.

At its third Assembly, IRENA is able to set high expectations surrounding both the presentation of its 2013 programme, and the release of a renewable energies world map that will contribute to illustrate the progress of achievements on renewable energies globally and at regional level, whilst simultaneously pinpointing developments at the national scale.

The latter is particularly important in the context of this article: the notion that intergovernmental commitment is only both impacting and measurable when it offers a framework for national promotion and local action and investment.

Not on purpose, a conversation on the subject of the installation of solar panels for domestic use that I recently overheard, could not be more appropriate. This was in brief about the period of time that would take for the installation of solar panels to pay themselves, i.e. considering installation costs, how long would it take for the price of the electricity bill to be matched. For the general public this is still too high a cost to pay for. However, this is not a one way situation: there is much more to it, and I believe that similar conditions apply much further than the example itself can illustrate. Whereas it would not make sense for a single family to sustain the cost of solar panels installation on its own, its advantages for the family itself but especially for the community and the country have a much greater dimension. In this particular case, the country at stake its Portugal, a country situated on the sunbelt region, where a fully working solar-based electricity-generating system would be many times higher than the actual national demand for electricity, thus enabling a country that is not blessed with other forms of fuel-based energy sources to export energy through high-voltage lines.

The same country is in fact located in a strategic position also due to a set of other conditions. These enable it to benefit from a wealth of resources related to renewable energies: its location on the solar belt, but also its position on the Atlantic coast and its mountains from which wind, water and wave-power energies can largely be taken advantage of.

The question however is how can countries like Portugal in the face of such serious economic depression can turn around and encourage investment in its natural resources.

This is precisely where international integration plays its role. For developing countries like Portugal with a wealth of natural resources as well as a primordial geographic position yet struggling financially, IRENA’s 3rd General Assembly, this year strategically preceding the World Future Energy Summit, might be exactly the platform needed to attract the extend of foreign investment that is required to first build up national profiles in the industry to then balance internal finances by taking advantage of resources that are largely overlooked and greatly underexploited.

0.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Inside the Invisible Government: John Pilger on War, Propaganda, Clinton and Trump
John Pilger · 10,355 views today · The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was...
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 9,229 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic
Michael Goodwin, Illustrated by Dan E. Burr · 5,938 views today · The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are the latest in a long line...
Democracy in the Digital Era
Birgitta Jonsdottir · 5,132 views today · Our current democratic models are crumbling and outdated. We need to make something more real and meaningful. Activist and politician Birgitta Jónsdóttir points to how it might...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 4,790 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 4,219 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,162 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Open Up - Have the Difficult But Important Conversations With Loved Ones
5 min · 2,696 views today · “The biggest casualty of humanity is the lack of communication, it’s the thing that breaks most relationships. It just feels so much better to talk and get it out.” There is...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 2,532 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
3 min · 2,222 views today · In addition to her well-known autobiographies, Maya Angelou has steadily written poetry over the years. In this video Professor Angelou recites her poem, "And Still I Rise,"...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,373 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 953 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 757 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 708 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 705 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 651 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 634 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 505 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 440 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
The Anthropocene Is Here: Humanity Has Pushed Earth Into a New Epoch
Deirdre Fulton · 431 views today · The epoch is thought to have begun in the 1950s, when human activity set global systems on a different trajectory
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
On IRENA and Its Degree of Reach - From Interstate Cooperation to Rural Practice