Int’l energy agency to become ‘central bank’ for renewable energy

By Merve Erdil, Harriet Daily News.

New International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol has said he plans to focus on boosting renewable energy in addition to fossil fuels by turning the agency into “a kind of central bank” in renewable energy technologies, during his first interview since assuming the position.

Birol took office on Sept. 1 as the new executive director of the IEA after years as a chief economist at the agency, ushering in a new era for the global energy authority. He was the first IEA chief who was elected by the support of all 29 member countries. 

 “The latest developments in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, may be signaling tougher days ahead for the energy markets. As the IEA head, there are two things I want to achieve. We have 29 members from the United States to Japan, but some of the leading energy players are not a member, such as China, India and Mexico. My first aim is to attract such countries to our agency. In this vein, I’ll make my first official visit to Beijing, not to Brussels or Washington. I want to be able to make China, India and Mexico IAE members,” he said.