Reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency update on international workshop

Cooperation on international Standards to promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions was given a major boost by a workshop in Paris, France, on 16 – 17 March 2009, which brought together 290 international experts from the public and private sectors.

The workshop was jointly organised by the International Energy Agency, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The workshop confirmed that key players in the energy sector consider international Standards essential instruments to support the implementation of energy efficiency practices. The experts underlined their commitment to contribute to and collaborate in the development of these Standards.

The workshop provided an opportunity to develop an overview of work that has to be done on energy efficiency and for technical experts and public sector decision-makers to exchange information and map out the path forward. In particular, the importance of energy efficiency standardisation was emphasised and how it can support carbon emissions reduction by providing internationally agreed metrics.

Presentations and discussion panels provided insights on the requirements and challenges related to energy efficiency and related standardisation work in a variety of fields: industrial systems, power generation, buildings, electrical and electronic appliances, networks and data centres, transport, and energy management.

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele emphasised the importance of standardisation for energy efficiency: 'Today's trends in world energy demand give the sense of urgency,' says Rob. 'We need to act now with available solutions, which need to be applied, and international Standards are part of the solution.'

Commenting on the event, IEC General Secretary and CEO Aharon Amit said: 'IEC has a long experience of working on electrical efficiency standards. We need to be able to generate, transmit, and distribute more electricity with reduced impact. And we need to use electricity more intelligently. While the IEC continues to issue the Standards for existing technologies, including energy efficiency for industrial and domestic uses, it is also working on new areas including ultra high voltage transmission and integrated smart grids, while continuing to maximise the potential from renewable energies.'

Among the main recommendations of the workshop were the following:

  • highlight and promote the complementary relationship between public policies and technical standards, communicating clearly that Standards provide technical solutions
  • encourage participation from the earliest stages in the Standards development process of all stakeholders (particularly representatives of public authorities and consumers) having relevant interests in promoting energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions
  • improve coordination and optimise involvement of experts in ongoing standardisation work at the sectoral, national, regional and international levels, ensuring exchange of information, and promoting the use of already existing Standards
  • adjust standardisation processes and deliverables to be more adaptive in addressing fast-moving technologies and evolving usage contexts of products and services.

    Published in environment.