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abr 12, 2018
Innovation and technology

Brazil to join International Renewable Energy Agency

Brazil’s federal government has made steps toward gaining membership to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the intergovernmental body based in the United Arab Emirates which supports the adoption and sustainable use of renewable sources of energy. Minister of Mines and Energy, Fernando Coelho Filho, announced the move during IRENA's 8th General Assembly, held in January in Abu Dhabi.

IRENA currently has 154 members, comprising 153 different countries and the European Union, while 27 other states (now including Brazil) are seeking full membership. Initially focused on the generation of solar and wind energy in developed countries, the organization later expanded its attention to the use of hydropower and biofuel, seeking to become the main driving force in the global transition to the use of renewable energy.

"Renewable energy will not only help meet Brazil's energy demand," said IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin in an official statement. “It will also power economic growth and create employment opportunities."
Amin stated that Brazil is a pioneer in the field of bioenergy, going on to say that it is one of the leading countries in Latin America for wind and hydroelectric power and that Brazil could play a key role in the global transformation of energy generation that is underway.

Indeed, Brazil currently receives an impressive 76% of its energy from renewable sources, according to the latest figures from IRENA. Hydropower leads the way with 97.6 gigawatts (GW), while the Brazilian wind power sector is growing rapidly – currently the country produces 11 GW of wind energy, and aims to increase this capacity to 24 GW by 2024. It stands as the fifth-fastest growing wind power market in the world.

Additionally, IRENA has pledged to contribute to the Biofuture Platform, an incentive created by Brazil with 19 other signatory countries to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced biofuels in a wide range of sectors. The platform was launched in 2016 and, as its founder, the Brazilian government occupies the position of secretariat and facilitator.

In November, Brazil became an association country of the International Energy Agency (IEA), pledging to work alongside the IEA on crucial issues such as energy security, data and statistics, and energy policy solutions. Speaking in November, Minister Fernando Coelho Filho stated the government is “taking another important step to place Brazil at the center of the global debate on key policy issues including renewable energy, energy efficiency, rational use of fossil fuels, energy security and sustainable development."