Enabling real solutions to the energy challenge

November saw the COP19 UN Climate Change Conference take place in Warsaw, Poland.

By Janice Blondeau

Post-COP19 the IEC is urging countries, industry, and civil society to make better use of the real solutions that it offers to help meet the energy challenge and mitigate climate change.

Electric motors contribute to major energy efficiency gains (Image: Apex Drive Laboratories)

Energy solutions for today

The IEC provides real solutions for today’s real energy and environmental issues, through its global platform where thousands of experts from all over the world help build energy efficiency right into products. Practical steps to reduce emissions and to enable the take-up of new energy technologies are also part of what IEC offers in order to mitigate this global issue. The key partner for all actors of the energy sector, IEC also provides most of the technical International Standards for automation, power generation, transmission and distribution, including for Smart Grids and Smart Cities

Real emission reductions

IEC, with participation from 165 countries, provides the globally relevant solid technical foundation for the broad roll-out of the most efficient energy solutions. It provides the measurements, ratings, guidelines and recommendations for systems, devices and components which are used in the generation of energy from all sources, including renewables. In this way IEC helps to increase the reliability and affordability of all technologies, and enables meaningful performance comparisons.

Real access to energy

A multitude of stakeholders collaborated in the development of a series of IEC Technical Specifications for rural electrification, which is an important step to bring energy to remote areas. The stakeholders included government entities such as the US Department of Energy, research laboratories and universities, private industry, and the Global Lighting initiatives of IFC and the World Bank. The IEC is also a partner of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative. In bringing the IEC into its network, the UN recognizes that IEC International Standards play a major role in bringing safe and sustainable energy to those who do not have it today.

IEC’s contribution includes, for example, IEC/TS 62257-9-5 for stand-alone lighting kits for rural electrification. While solar lanterns have been available for some time, IEC performance-based metrics and rigorous test protocols allows manufacturers to increase their quality, reliability and output while reducing cost. This increases consumer trust and results in the adoption of a safer, more efficient technology.

Real energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is still a major underexploited source of power. IEC efficiency ratings allow manufacturers to demonstrate and compare product efficiency levels and they provide a real-life basis for energy regulations. As well, intelligent automation and control systems and variable-speed motors help ensure that energy is only consumed when and where necessary.

Energy efficiency improvements of up to 30% are feasible right now if we just use already available technologies. Industry accounts for close to 40% of the world’s consumption of electric energy, with two-thirds of this used to drive electric motors. Increasing the efficiency levels of these motors by just a few percentage points, through the application of IEC Standards, has a significant impact on overall energy consumption worldwide.

Moreover, with IEC International Standards, best practice energy management is continuously being built into electrical devices, from the start of a product’s design. At the point of use this makes all the difference in reducing energy consumption.

Real global relevance

The IEC is a trusted energy partner of industry, governments and international organizations, supporting them in their efforts to meet today’s energy challenges. In addition, literally thousands of companies, from small SME’s to huge multinationals also participate in IEC work.

Recognizing that there are still many challenges to be overcome to ensure sustainable energy is a reality for all, the IEC remains committed to its role as the organization that helps to keep the lights on.

For more information please see The energy challenge: Enabling real solutions globally.

apex-drive-laboratories-high-efficiency-electric-motors-photo1 Electric motors contribute to major energy efficiency gains (Image: Apex Drive Laboratories)
Microgrid-Deployment-Tracker1 The IEC provides real solutions for today’s real energy and environmental issues
energy_efficiency_ratings_6395296_xl IEC efficiency ratings provide a real-life basis for energy saving regulations (NMCandre / 123RF Stock Photo)