As the world watches #COP21, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that Energy Efficiency is the most effective tool to reduce green-house gas emissions, aiming to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or below. (See 2015 Energy Efficiency Market Report)
Today, electricity is key to all modern human activities, driving economic development and global trade. All hardware that uses electricity and contains electronics to move, function and collect data directly relies on IEC work. Therefore IEC work in driving energy efficiency gains is also paramount.
Renewable, sustainable energy brings efficiency
Current methods of energy production rely heavily on fossil fuels. These are polluting, often inefficient, and unsustainable in terms of energy reserves. Today up to 70 to 80% of raw energy is wasted. However, electricity can be produced cleanly from renewable sources and it converts energy into useful power without losses or pollution. This is what we call smart electrification.
A systems approach to smart electrification
Smart electrification is a key tool to increase sustainability. Electricity can be produced clean at the point of generation and is 100% clean at the point of use. With smart electrification in a systems approach combined with a solid foundation for all technology-based Energy Efficiency initiatives, a considerable amount of energy can be saved across all spheres. It has been estimated that adopting cost-effective standards for a wider range of technologies could also reduce the global electricity consumption by buildings and industry by a minimum of 14 percent.
Real emission reductions
The share of renewable sources in energy generation is forecast to reach nearly a third of total generation by 2035. IEC work provides the globally relevant solid technical foundation to make new energy solutions broadly available. It helps increase the reliability and affordability of new technologies, and enables performance comparisons with existing technologies.
IEC standardization work covers three Renewable Energy areas: water, sun and wind:
- Technical Committee 4: Hydraulic turbines.
- Technical Committee 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems.
- Technical Committee 88: Wind turbines.
- Technical Committee 114: Marine energy – wave and tidal energy converters
- Technical Committee 117: Solar thermal electric plants.
At the same time, IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications aims to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in Renewable Energy sectors while maintaining required levels of safety.
Efficient energy for all
We must also not lose sight of the fact that more than 1,3 billion people have no or only intermittent access to electricity, even for essential services such as lighting, education or medical treatment. (For more information please see IEC White Papers Coping with the energy challenge, Grid integration of large-capacity Renewable Energy sources and Electrical Energy Storage).
The impact of IEC work corresponds fully to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 to ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’.
The IEC global platform
As a global technology partner, the IEC significantly contributes to the broad roll-out of new technologies in developing countries, including mini and microgrids. Minigrids, small clusters of loads and generators linked together represent an entirely new way of powering remote or rural communities. (IEC White Paper Microgrids for disaster preparedness and recovery)
The IEC offers a global, neutral and independent platform to 167 countries and close to 20 000 experts. The IEC welcomes more countries and their technical experts to join this platform.