The agenda has been released for the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008). Cabinet-level government officials from more than 70 countries will join with civil society partners and private sector leaders to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a global, rapid deployment of renewable energy.

Participants will address key drivers of greater renewable energy production and use, including: Market Adoption and Finance; Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development; Technology, Research and Development; and State and Local Government Initiatives. Each theme will examine policy initiatives that can facilitate rapid scale-up of renewable energy.

“This agenda has both the breadth and depth necessary for international leaders to address energy security, environmental quality, and wealth creation in rural areas,” said Tom Dorr, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development.

The schedule has been designed to complement that of the Trade Show and Business Conference at WIREC 2008, which is being organized by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). Under Secretary Dorr noted that combining the ministerial meeting with these industry events as well as Official Side Events is one of the keys to WIREC’s success. “What makes WIREC distinct from other renewable energy conferences is the participants. For the first time, all of the crucial stakeholders in renewable energy will gather in one place at one time — from energy and agriculture ministers to rural cooperatives and from academia to Fortune 500 companies. We have all of the necessary elements to make a significant impact in renewable energy deployment.”

The newly released agenda includes a session devoted exclusively to voluntary participant pledges to increase renewable energy deployment. Participating nations are encouraged to pledge specific, measurable actions before the commencement of WIREC. REN21 — the Renewable Energy Network — will be tracking the status of the pledges in the coming years so that there will be a reliable yardstick by which to measure renewable energy build-up.

WIREC 2008 is being hosted by the United States government, with participation from numerous agencies, including the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, and Energy, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

WIREC 2008 will be held at the Washington Convention Center on March 4-6, 2008. An international platform for government, private sector, and non-governmental leaders to jointly address the goal of advancing renewable energy, WIREC 2008 is the third global ministerial-level conference on renewable energy, following events in Beijing in 2005 and Bonn in 2004. WIREC 2008 will build on the success of the previous conferences by combining a Ministerial Meeting with other events, including a Business Conference, Trade Show Exhibition, and Official Side Events with the support of sponsors such as BP, Good Energies, Renewable Capital and Stoel Rives Attorneys at Law.

Information on the agenda and other aspects of WIREC 2008 can be found atwww.wirec2008.gov.