x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

French official wins battle to be first head of Irena

A French official has been elected the director general of the new Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

SHARM EL SHEIKH // A French official has been elected the director general of the new Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). Hélène Pelosse, a deputy in the French environment ministry, won after two rounds of voting by the agency's 136 members late on Monday. Hours earlier, Abu Dhabi had emerged victorious in its bid to host the body's headquarters. Ms Pelosse said her first task would be recruitment. "This takes months," she said. "That's why we're going to start with secondment to make sure we actually get started. That's my first priority."

The result took some delegates by surprise, as Ms Pelosse's three rivals had strong support in the European renewable energy industry. Juan Ormazábal Jordana heads Spain's Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables, while Hans Jorgen Koch was formerly a director at the International Energy Agency, Irena's Paris-based precursor. A fourth candidate, Arthouros Zervos of Greece, was eliminated in the first round of voting.


cstanton@thenational.ae