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IRENA and Fraunhofer ISE sign Memorandum of Understanding

Focus on Transformation of the Global Energy System
The International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance their cooperation. IRENA, the global hub for renewable energies, is based in Abu Dhabi. Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg is one of the world’s leading solar energy research institutes that works for providing technologies for the transformation of the global energy system towards the efficient use of ultimately 100% renewable energy.

“By joining forces we intend to create synergies and accelerate the deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions on a global level,” said Prof Dr Eicke R. Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE at the signing ceremony which took place on January 17, 2013, at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, a global gathering of policy makers and industry leaders.

Fraunhofer ISE has been closely linked to IRENA since its foundation in 2009, the establishment of the headquarters in Abu Dhabi and later the IRENA Innovation Center in Bonn. Collaboration is ranging from joint public event support, in making energy more accessible via the UN Sustainable Energy for All program, to providing insights on how Fraunhofer is developing technologies in different solar energy sectors. These include methodologies on cost analyses which impacted the well-known IRENA “Cost of renewable electricity” studies.

A new focus has been set on the integration of renewable power into electric grids, assessing the competitiveness status and outlook for solar energy technologies as well the development of global and national frameworks up to NAMAs (National Acceptable Mitigation Actions) and respective strategies to spur innovation and the uptake of state-of-the-art solar energy technologies.

Currently collaboration is expanding in planning grid integration and off-grid solutions, based on photovoltaic (PV) hybrid systems for rural areas in developing and threshold countries. Fraunhofer ISE has nearly 30 years of experience in this field, with skills covering the whole value chain, ranging from system analysis and system development to standardization and the transfer of knowledge. Additionally Fraunhofer will engage with IRENA staff in renewable energy storage solutions and make latest research findings in this sector accessible to the organization and member states.

The International Renewable Energy Agency General Assembly is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy. IRENA’s objective is to promote the widespread and increased adoption and the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. This concerns energy that is produced from renewable sources, including bioenergy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean, solar, and wind energy. IRENA was founded on January 26, 2009 in Bonn, Germany by 75 states which signed its Statute. It became a fully established international organization headquartered in Abu Dhabi at its inaugural Assembly on April 4-5, 2011. To date, the membership of IRENA comprises 159 states and the European Union.

About Fraunhofer ISE
With a staff of 1200, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, based in Freiburg, is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe. Fraunhofer ISE is committed to promoting energy supply systems which are sustainable, economic, safe and socially just. It creates the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries. To this end, the institute develops materials, components, systems and processes for a total of eight different business areas: Energy-Efficient Buildings, Applied Optics and Functional Surfaces, Solar Thermal Technology, Silicon Photovoltaics, Photovoltaic Modules and Systems, Alternative Photovoltaic Technology, Renewable Power Supply and Hydrogen Technology. Fraunhofer ISE also has numerous accredited test facilities.

Karin Schneider | Fraunhofer-Institut
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