The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), created in 2009, is the only intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy. Drawing on several new datasets, this article explores IRENA in the context of three other major international energy organizations: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Through this analysis, several empirical approaches to comparing international energy organizations are tried out. Direct comparison between IRENA other international energy organizations is found to be problematic as each organization is different and comparisons inevitably encounter apples and oranges type issues. The study finds that IRENA’s niche in international renewable energy governance is not yet fully carved out, but that the organization’s mandate and institutional structure, as well as recent international developments, indicate that it may grow rapidly in importance.