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 · 0
What's Next
Load Comments
Trending Today
Seven Everyday Things Poor People Worry About That Rich People Never Do
Carmen Rios · 4,094 views today · It isn’t just poor people’s lives which differ from rich people’s lives – it's poor people's thoughts that differ from everyone else's.
'Agrihoods' Offer Suburban Living Built Around Community Farms, Not Golf Courses
Joseph Erbentraut · 3,282 views today · The model takes the idea of farm-to-table to the next level.
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 3,147 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
The Demand to be Safe in Relationship Inevitably Breeds Sorrow and Fear
J. Krishnamurti · 2,520 views today · This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you?
An Indigenous Approach to Healing Trauma
Jonathan Davis · 2,344 views today · The Healing Power of Listening in Stillness
HumanWorld - Where the Cetaceans Use People for Entertainment
2 min · 2,033 views today · Satirical take on the exploitation of whales and dolphins. For more serious info visit Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
3 min · 1,652 views today · Woman learns to like herself even when others don't always act like they like her.  lyrics: I LIKE MYSELF  so you don't have to  I LIKE MYSELF  i'm down with me  I LIKE...
Another Way Of Seeing: We Don't Own the Land. The Land Owns Us.
6 min · 1,487 views today · Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru (Ayer's Rock), explains how the connectedness of every living thing to every other living thing is not just...
Beautiful 1 Acre Small Scale Permaculture Farm
13 min · 1,443 views today · A tour of Limestone Permaculture Farm in New South Wales, Australia. The 1 acre property has been developed into a productive permaculture farm that is currently feeding around...
Why Some Companies in Sweden are Shifting to a 6-Hour Work Day
Bec Crew · 1,440 views today · Despite research telling us it’s a really bad idea, many of us end up working 50-hour weeks or more because we think we’ll get more done and reap the benefits later. And...
Capitalism Can't Be "Less Greedy" - the Greed Is Baked In
Stephanie McMillan · 1,298 views today · More people lately are identifying capitalism as the underlying cause of our current global troubles and crises. That’s certainly positive: the first step toward cure is a...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use To Change The World
Films For Action · 1,266 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 1,125 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
Dirt! The Movie (2009)
80 min · 1,024 views today · DIRT! The Movie takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth's most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility--from its miraculous beginning to...
10 Pieces of Political Graffiti You Can Recreate Yourself
Andrew Butler · 928 views today · The world is your canvas, use it.
The Coolest Nature Video Ever!
2 min · 829 views today · Beautifully edited by Roen Horn this slice of natural wonder is set to the music of Karen O.
Falling in Love with the Earth: The Revolution That Needs To Happen Starts From Inside Each Of Us
Thich Nhat Hanh · 787 views today · This beautiful, bounteous, life-giving planet we call Earth has given birth to each one of us, and each one of us carries the Earth within every cell of our body.
The Four Qualities of True Love
Thich Nhat Hanh · 745 views today · HAPPINESS IS ONLY POSSIBLE WITH TRUE LOVE. True love has the power to heal and transform the situation around us and bring a deep meaning to our lives. There are people who...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 703 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education
Peter Gray, Ph.D. · 634 views today · Sometimes I find, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me and others feel, I have to speak the truth. We can use all the euphemisms we want, but the literal truth is that...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?