The principal organs of the Agency are:
This is IRENA’s ultimate decision-making authority, made up of one representative from each Member. It convenes annually to discuss and decide upon issues such as the work programme, budget, adoption of reports, applications for membership and potential amendments to agency activities.
The thirteenth session of the Assembly will take place from 14-15 January 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
First Session (2011): The first IRENA Assembly was the inaugural meeting of IRENA’s supreme governing body. It marked the official launch of IRENA as an international organisation and attracted significant attention. More than 1000 participants attended the Assembly, including one head of state, more than 50 ministers, 30 ministerial-level officials, 670 country delegates, 130 observers and officials, and 70 accredited media.
Second Session (2012): The second IRENA Assembly attracted more than 800 delegates and speakers representing 133 countries and 57 organisations, and including 64 ministers and other high-level officials. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made a special address to the delegates on the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
Third Session (2013): At the third IRENA Assembly, member states called for the agency to continue scaling-up its work to promote renewable energy worldwide, with a strengthened mission and streamlined structure. Members decided that the agency would serve as a centre of excellence, advisory resource and hub to promote and accelerate renewable energy deployment.
Fourth Session (2014): The fourth session of the Assembly took place on 18 and 19 January 2014 in Abu Dhabi. Many member states highlighted IRENA’s increasing visibility as the global voice for renewable energy.
Fifth Session (2015): At the fifth IRENA Assembly, more than 1000 delegates pushed for rapid expansion of renewable energy. Along with releasing such reports as “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014” and “Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy & Food Nexus”, IRENA also introduced a renewables search engine, “Resource”, and announced five recipients of IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility loans.
Sixth Session (2016): The sixth session of the Assembly focused on key elements to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, including finance and investment, innovation and power sector transformation. Following the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, IRENA’s Assembly session emphasised solutions, with a portfolio of IRENA tools and resources to support countries, businesses and investors in scaling up renewable-energy use worldwide.
Seventh Session (2017): At the seventh session of the Assembly, strategic and programmatic discussions advanced the central themes of the agency’s work and mandate. The discussions promoted an exchange of information and best practices among members and experts.
Eighth Session (2018): At its eighth session, the Assembly considered and adopted the Work Programme and Budget for 2018-2019, and the Medium-term Strategy 2018-2022, which will guide the Agency’s programmatic work and strategic direction in the coming years. In addition, two Ministerial Roundtables and a Strategic Plenary Ministerial further enabled high-level exchange on topics relevant to the global energy transformation.
Ninth Session (2019): At its ninth session, the Assembly featured two Ministerial Roundtables on energy access and on innovation, a High-Level Segment on the progress of the global energy transformation, and plenary discussions on other key issues of the global energy transformation. On the day preceding the Assembly, regional Ministerial and High-Level meetings as well as the Legislators Forum and the Public-Private Dialogue were held to mobilise action towards a sustainable energy future.
Tenth Session (2020): At its tenth session, the Assembly featured one Ministerial Roundtable on Decarbonisation – Green Hydrogen and two Ministerial Plenary sessions on Renewables Investment in the context of National Energy Planning and Implementation and Hydropower. On the day preceding the Assembly, high-level meetings and thematic meetings in collaboration with stakeholders were held to raise awareness of the importance of renewables and their impact on the energy transformation and sustainable development.
Eleventh Session (2021): At its eleventh session, the Assembly featured a High-level Panel on Energy Transition for Sustainable Post-Covid Recovery, where high-level participants share their views on the role of the energy transition driven by renewables as a response to the pandemic. Four Ministerial plenary meetings were convened, engaging Ministers and High-Level participants on specific topics such as National Energy Planning and Implementation for Fostering Energy Transition, Scaling up Finance for Renewables, Renewables and Pathway to Carbon Neutrality - Innovation, Green Hydrogen and Socioeconomic Policies and Driving the Agenda for Energising Healthcare. On the day preceding the Assembly, high-level meetings and thematic meetings in collaboration with stakeholders were held to raise awareness of the key role of renewables and their impact on the energy transformation and sustainable development, connect policy makers, experts, innovators and civil society representatives worldwide to learn from each other, and share best practice and experiences on issues of common interest.
Twelfth Session (2022): At its twelfth session, The Assembly featured featured a high-level meeting on the follow-up of COP26 and High-level Dialogues on Energy outcomes aligned with the Assembly theme “Energy Transition: From Commitments to Action”. Furthermore, the report on the Geopolitics of Hydrogen was launched, bringing together Ministers and invited High-level contributors, to exchange views on the evolving geopolitical energy landscape and the role of hydrogen, and highlight policy considerations in this dynamic sector. On the day preceding the Assembly, a ministerial event on Africa was also convened to allow for an exchange of perspectives among countries that are most impacted by climate change. A number of Stakeholder Engagement events were organized virtually at the margins of the twelfth IRENA Assembly that brought specific perspectives on the energy transition from parliamentarians, youth and the private sector.
The IRENA Council is composed of 21 Member States elected for a two-year term and is accountable to the Assembly. Council members serve on a rotating basis to ensure the effective participation of both developing and developed countries and a fair and equitable geographical distribution. The Council’s responsibilities include facilitating consultation and cooperation among IRENA Members and reviewing the draft work programme, draft budget and annual report.
The twenty-third IRENA Council will take place from 24-25 May 2022, in Abu Dhabi. The Programme and Strategy Committee (PSC) meeting will be held virtually on 17 May from 15.00 to 16.30 hrs GST, and the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) meeting will be held virtually on 18 May from 15.00 to 16.30 hrs GST.
IRENA’s eleventh Assembly elected the following countries to serve on the Council in 2022: Algeria, Benin, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Somalia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe. China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Nigeria, Switzerland, Turkey, Tuvalu and United Kingdom act as alternates.
Two committees currently assist the Council in its work:
Administration and Finance Committee
Members: Antigua & Barbuda, China, Egypt, Germany, Maldives, Nigeria, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America
Programme and Strategy Committee
Chair: United States of America
Members: Algeria, Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, and United States of America
The Secretariat, which comprises the Director-General and his staff, provides administrative and technical support to the Assembly, the Council and their subsidiary bodies. It is responsible, among other things, for preparing and submitting the agency’s draft work programme, budget and annual report and for implementing the work programme.
The IRENA Secretariat carries out its operations mainly through three programmatic divisions:
The Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC), which collects data, develops knowledge platforms and conducts analysis to help create enabling conditions for investment and growth in renewables. This entails policy and finance analysis, building a knowledge gateway, input to IRENA advisory services and targeted engagement with the private sector and civil society to advance the sustainable energy transition.
The Country Engagement and Partnerships (CEP), which helps countries and regions accelerate the introduction of renewable energy. The division works with a wide variety of public and private stakeholders on developing and implementing strategies to increase renewable energy use in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as in small island developing states.
The Project Facilitation and Support (PFS), which leads the Agency’s work related to project development, access to finance and investment, and the Climate Investment Platform. The division also maintains partnerships with multilateral banks, financing institutions, private investors and stakeholders along the project development value chain.
The IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC), which provides cutting-edge information on renewable energy technologies and innovations, while seeking new pathways for the global transition to a sustainable energy future. Based at IRENA’s office in Bonn, Germany, the centre stays abreast of the latest developments and translates them into practical, policy- friendly tools. Researchers produce cost data for renewable energy technologies; provide tools for planning, project development and grid management; and offer strategies to strengthen technological innovation for renewables.
These divisions are supported by Administration and Management Services (AMS) and Planning and Programme Support (PPS), while Office of the Director-General (ODG) strengthens internal co-ordination and supports IRENA’s governing bodies.