Canada has become the 160th member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the widespread adoption of renewable energy.
Canada had announced its intention to join in May 2018. It was formally admitted to the organization on January 9, 2019 just ahead of IRENA’s ninth and largest Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
“Canada’s membership firmly underscores the leadership it can demonstrate in renewable energy technology, sustainable development and global energy decarbonisation,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin in a release.
IRENA reports that renewable energy accounts for two-thirds of Canada’s power generation and just under 20 per cent of its total final energy supply, thanks largely to significant hydropower resources. It is the second largest producer of hydropower in the world, according to IRENA. China is the world leader by a wide margin.
Renewable power generation in Canada increased from 78 gigawatts (GW) in 2009 to 99 GW in 2017. In addition to plentiful hydropower resources, Canada also has significant wind, biomass, solar, marine and geothermal energy potential.
Through its membership, Canada expects to benefit from increased awareness of renewables’ potential and international trade opportunities for Canadian clean tech companies. It is among the last major countries to join the organization, which was officially founded in 2009.