Energy summit achieves global clean-tech commitments
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu (third from left); US Secretary of State Edward Davey (fourth from left); and other energy ministers answer the press' questions at the Clean Energy Ministerial in London. Image by Department of Energy and Climate Change
Energy ministers from 23 governments and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative were in London this week for the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). Participating governments made clean-energy commitments around areas such as improving energy efficiency and ramping up renewable energy technologies.
The CEM and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative are seek to improve energy efficiency, increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and ensure access to energy.
As a result of the London conference, 16 governments participating in the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative have recommitted to working together and with the private sector to accelerate global progress on improving the energy efficiency of equipment and appliances.
At the close of the conference yesterday, CEM said this energy-efficiency initiative could save consumers more than US$1trn over the next two decades.
Earlier this year, SEAD launched the first Global Efficiency Medal competition to recognise and promote the most efficient products, starting with flat-panel televisions. Yesterday, SEAD participating governments announced the expansion of the competition to include electric motors and computer monitors.
SEAD partners, led by India, also launched a new initiative to provide technical co-operation to accelerate adoption of efficient lighting.
CEM said migrating to more efficient lighting technologies, such as compact fluorescent lamps and solid-state lighting, could potentially reduce global electricity consumption by around 2.5pc.
At the conference, the UK announced the establishment of up to stg£60m in new funding to support the demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies in developing countries.
Meanwhile, Denmark, Germany and Spain have pioneered a global renewable resource atlas that maps the potential for solar and wind energy across the world.
The atlas apparently includes plans to assess the cost-effectiveness of those resources in different countries, based on energy prices, project finance costs, and available incentives.
Universal energy access
Italy and the US announced the launch of Lighting India, an initiative that's aiming to bring modern lighting services to 2m people by the end of 2015.
CEM said the Lighting Africa programme has already accelerated market-driven delivery of quality off-grid lighting devices to 2.5m people in Africa.
It said both of these programmes will be affiliated with the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) announced yesterday. The aim of Global LEAP will be to promote market-based delivery of low-cost, quality-assured solutions to consumers who lack modern energy options.
Other Global LEAP partners include the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the UN Foundation, the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the UN Development Programme, and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
CEM said more than 100 private-sector and civil society organisations have expressed support for its principles.
Women in Clean Energy programme
The US also announced a national Women in Clean Energy programme in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as part of its commitment to the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative (C3E).
More than 20 senior professional women in clean energy will serve as C3E ambassadors. There will also be an awards programme to recognise individuals who have advanced women's leadership and their accomplishments in clean energy. In addition, MIT will hold a symposium this September.
"The Department of Energy is committed to advancing American leadership in the global clean-energy economy and capturing the new markets and jobs of the 21st century. We will be more successful in these endeavours if we harness the talents of all of our citizens," said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday at the London summit, announcing the Women in Clean Energy programme. Chu was the co-chair of the CEM summit.