Companies and sub-national governments leading the race for energy efficiency and renewables

Reading time: 3 minutes
6 July 2016

NEW YORK: At the seventh annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), energy productivity was at the forefront of low carbon solutions conversations. National leaders, corporate advocates and innovators convened to collaborate on how to provide affordable and reliable global energy for all.

Hosted by the State of California, a member of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, the summit focused on opportunities for a more productive energy future, contributing new models, financing strategies and policies to address energy demand and efficiency opportunities.

At the international meeting, The Climate Group – along with ClimateWorks and Energy Unlocked – organized the side event “Energy Productivity Pioneers” to highlight its new campaign EP100, which helps the world’s most influential businesses committed to doubling their energy productivity.

PRODUCTIVITY SOLUTIONS

Government, academic, and industry leaders gathered to discuss innovations to increase energy productivity across various technologies and sectors.

The participants focused on highlighting the valuable solutions-oriented work taking place within the sector, as well as the collective desire to achieve significant progress in lowering carbon emissions and overall impact on the environment.

During the side event, US policy experts and government officials discussed the need for a domestic energy bill and stronger measures on issues such as storage capacity and building codes.

Voices from international governments and companies also emphasized the value of new strategies to incorporate energy efficiency into energy access efforts, such as more widespread implementation of micro grids and smart meters.

RENEWABLES REVOLUTION

Renewable energy has been part of our energy mix for over a century – but today digital, technical, social and financial innovation are changing how we buy, produce and consume electricity.

Through the RE100 campaign, The Climate Group – in collaboration with CDP – is lighting the path for companies to transition to 100% renewable power in their electricity supply.

Launched at Climate Week 2014, the campaign has 68 members playing a key role both in the US advanced energy market, now worth over US$200 billion, and in stimulating the global appetite for renewables in the business sector.

Recent data show how opportunities for cleaner technologies are continuing to grow, while the industry has developed into a dynamic economic force. In fact, wind and solar technicians are two of the fastest growing job sectors, and 9.4 million people globally were employed in the clean energy sector as of 2014.

Within the last year, solar photovoltaic revenue grew 21% on 2014, wind was up 75%, building efficiency grew 11%, and energy storage multiplied over 10 times year-to-year.

SUB-NATIONAL CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

Many sub-national governments around the world are focusing on energy efficiency. In California, Governor Brown passed a bill focused on storage capacity – which could enable valuable progress towards California’s goals of 50% renewables in the energy system, doubling building energy efficiency, halving oil use in transportation, and reducing methane, carbon and hydrofluorocarbon emissions, all by 2030.

This political leadership has inspired well established companies to take decisive action to make already successful and celebrated products more efficient and sustainable. During CEM7, many of these companies called for stronger policies to encourage further innovation nationwide.

Johnson Controls, a member of The Climate Group’s EP100 campaign, emphasized the value of a systems approach to energy productivity – both as it pertains to making a building system more energy efficient, resilient and sustainable, and in altering company-wide behavior to change how energy is used.

The possibilities for the future of energy productivity are limitless. Through cross sectoral collaboration and changing policies, new leaders are joining the ranks for established brands, all demonstrating agility to develop low-cost solutions to power the future efficiently.

By Johanna Goetzel and Rachel Harrington-Abrams

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