WASHINGTON - Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy joined leaders from 15 countries and the European Commission today at the first Policy Committee meeting of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) to promote global collaboration on energy-saving programs and policies. U.S. participation in this partnership, launched at the Group of 8 (G8) Energy Ministers Meeting in Rome in May 2009, continues the Obama Administration's efforts to forge partnerships among governments to address climate change, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and grow the global clean energy economy.
At the meeting, Assistant Secretary Zoi was selected to serve a two-year term as the first Chair of the IPEEC Policy Committee.
"Smart, efficient energy use has enormous potential to reduce energy demand, improve economic development, and reduce emissions worldwide," said Assistant Secretary Zoi. "We need to achieve unprecedented speed and scale in deploying energy-saving practices and policies to meet our global challenges, and the IPEEC partnership is an extraordinary opportunity to ramp up this work."
Over the past year, IPEEC member countries have contributed more than $1.6 million (approximately 1.3 million euros) in funding to support six key initiatives that advance energy efficiency.
These projects include:
The Worldwide Energy Efficiency Action through Capacity Building and Training project will help share best practices for energy efficiency through on-site training workshops and online materials. Italy has provided seed funding for this project, while training materials are being developed with technical assistance from the International Energy Agency and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Mexico will host the first on-site workshop later this year, which is expected to draw attendance from across the Americas. (Lead country: Italy)
The Sustainable Buildings Network (SBN) will connect numerous building efficiency organizations to focus on intelligent tropical architecture, zero-energy buildings, and innovative policies to make existing buildings more efficient. The SBN has held a half-dozen workshops, including an in-depth review on May 10 at the EE Global Forum with building experts from around the world. Energy efficiency in buildings offers one of the fastest, lowest-cost opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Lead country: Germany)
The Assessment of Energy Efficiency Finance Mechanisms project will examine how energy efficiency efforts can better leverage financing from domestic sources, such as commercial banks. Examples of successful financing models, such as utility financing, energy performance savings contracts, and shared savings contracts, will be shared with countries that need expanded access to capital for energy efficiency investments. Private sector investment in efficiency will be critical to expanding these efforts. (Lead country: India)
Across the globe, manufacturing industries are recognizing that meeting carbon reduction goals requires strong energy management at production facilities and along the full supply chain. The Energy Management Action Network for Industrial Efficiency will provide a forum for policymakers and industry leaders to share best practices for managing and reporting industrial energy consumption. (Lead country: Japan)
The Improving Policies through Energy Efficiency Indicators project will accelerate efforts to develop and implement methods for energy efficiency indicators that measure and report energy performance (e.g. energy consumption per ton of steel produced). Governments use energy efficiency indicators to document energy productivity improvements and identify opportunities for additional energy savings. Consistent application of better efficiency indicators will help countries meet their energy and carbon reduction goals. (Lead country: France)
Increased use of lighting and appliances like TVs, air conditioners and refrigerators, is estimated to account for more than half of the future growth in electricity consumption. The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment project is a global initiative launched with support of the Major Economies Forum (MEF) to collaborate on test methods to measure appliance efficiency and coordinate incentives for manufacturers to provide more efficient equipment and appliances which could dramatically reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions while saving consumers money. The U.S. has committed up to $3 million annually to support this project. (Lead country: United States)
IPEEC members include: the Federative Republic of Brazil, Canada, the People's Republic of China, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Mexico, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Indonesia and South Africa also sent representatives to the meeting as observers, and Australia joined as a member during today's meeting, bringing decades of experience in promoting energy efficiency by adopting global-best-in-class standards for consumer appliances.
The International Energy Agency, based in Paris, is a strong supporter of the IPEEC, and it has been recognized by the MEF and the World Economic Forum as a critical organization for accelerating energy efficiency.
All IPEEC members are also members of the MEF's Global Partnership that is collaborating on policies and programs to accelerate the world's transition to clean energy technologies. All MEF partners have been invited to send ministers with lead responsibility for clean energy technologies to the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial to be hosted by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Chu July 19 and 20 in Washington, D.C.