Global experts gather for the IEA Technology Cooperation Meeting

The Technology Cooperation Program (TCP) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently held its biennial Universal Meeting, convening experts from around the world to discuss their work to advance the research, development and commercialization of energy technologies.

The Fifth Universal Meeting – which was the first held in person in four years – took place on 25-26 October 2023. It brought together representatives from around 30 different Technology Cooperation Programs (TCPs), as well as delegates from the IEA Committee on Energy Research and technologies (CERT) and its working groups (WP).

The focus of the meeting was the future of energy technology cooperation in a rapidly changing energy landscape and the role that cooperation can play in achieving governments’ net-zero ambitions. Discussions also focused on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the IEA, which will include the first edition of the IEA Energy Innovation Forum and also mark 50 years of the IEA Technology Cooperation Network.

The technology cooperation program was initiated when the agency was launched. Over the past five decades, it has played an important role in strengthening international cooperation in energy technology and providing valuable knowledge to policymakers around the world, with almost 80 TCPs established over almost half a century. Today, 6,000 experts representing more than 300 public and private organizations from 55 countries participate in the program.

While the IEA’s 2020 Energy Technology Outlook and 2021 Roadmap Net Zero Emissions to 2050 (NZE) show that almost half of the emissions cut to reach net zero by 2050 will must come from technologies that were not yet commercially available at the time, the IEA’s latest analysis shows that the share has now fallen to 35%. International cooperation in research and innovation is critical to this progress and will continue to drive further progress in this area.

At the meeting, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol emphasized that the TCP network is an “extremely important source of information and inspiration”, noting the importance of innovation work and the great potential for TCP, especially given the need to be nimble in addressing the challenges of the current energy landscape.

IEA Chief Energy Technology Officer Timur Gul, who moderated the meeting, discussed ways to strengthen existing cooperation to ensure alignment with governments’ priorities, noting the critical role of international cooperation in achieving net zero emissions for the energy sector by 2050

Committee on Research and Technology (CERT) Chair Amanda Wilson, also a co-moderator, outlined the ongoing process to increase the value of the IEA Energy Technology Network.

As part of this effort, the Universal Meeting provided an opportunity to discuss how CERT and its WPs and TCPs can be better aligned with government priorities and how the overall operational effectiveness of the network can be further improved. New forms of collaboration through the coordination groups were discussed in a brainstorming session, and several other sessions were devoted to improving communication efforts internally and externally.

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