IEC is part of the energy conversation

IEC active in SE4ALL

By Janice Blondeau

Access to energy is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. In 2011, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, made sustainable energy one of his five priorities by launching the SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All) initiative. By 2030, the UN has set a goal of universal energy access for all countries, with a clear emphasis on efficiency, energy safety and sustainability. At both international and regional levels the IEC is part of the energy conversation, participating in the SE4ALL platform and attending key meetings of energy leaders.

IEC brings its expertise to the global energy conversation (Photo: Norsk Hydro) IEC brings its expertise to the global energy conversation (Photo: Norsk Hydro)

Energy workshops map out sustainable future

Towards Universal Energy Access: An Asian Perspective, a workshop held under the SE4ALL initiative, took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in March 2013. At the two-day workshop which brought together more than 100 participants the IEC was represented by Dennis Chew, Regional Director IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre). Practitioners, investors and experts met to discuss the market developments, innovations and financing opportunities relating to improving energy access in rural areas.

Chew’s contribution to emphasized the importance of using innovative technologies. He told attendees that to improve access to energy in rural areas innovative solutions such as micro/mini-grids are required. During some of panel sessions, the work of the IEC and the IEC technical specification IEC TS 62257 on rural electrification drew interest from participants. Questions were also raised on the availability of IEC standards on mini-grids as entrepreneurs were interested in providing electricity at a larger scale by bundling several towns under one mini-grid.

Suzanne Yap, a Technical Officer with IEC-APRC, attended a related event called Advancing Energy Access in South Asia. The conference, which took place in Patna, India, included Yap as one of the panellists at the session titled “Setting the Right Policy Framework”.

The event provided an opportunity to share best practices and ongoing work of entrepreneurs delivering decentralized energy services in India and in other south Asian countries where mini-grid and off-grid clean energy solutions are relevant to achieving universal energy access.

UN Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network

The IEC is also active in the UN Foundation Energy Access Practitioner Network that addresses market barriers to the achievement of universal energy access. It works closely with other international organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Finance Corporation, and many other organizations.  

On 14 May 2013, a webinar with 160 participants from all over the world, jointly hosted by the UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network and the Clean Energy Solutions Center explored the importance of global quality standards as a means of protecting consumers and reducing the barriers that practitioners traditionally face. The IEC presented three packages of rural electrification standards.

4th Clean Energy Ministerial looks for answers

IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk participated in CEM4 (the 4th Clean Energy Ministerial) in New Delhi, India, on 17 April 2013. Vreeswijk was a panellist in one of a series of high-level public-private roundtable discussions. The roundtable, on mini-grid development, allowed practitioners and policymakers to identify the obstacles to further scaling up of mini-grids and potential solutions to achieve universal energy access. Vreeswijk outlined how the IEC can facilitate the broad roll-out of energy technologies, providing truly global reach and state-of-the art expertise.

It was the opportunity for the IEC also to announce the new IEC TS (Technical Specification) 62257-9-5 to expand access to modern off-grid lighting among low-income households in developing countries. The new specification for solar-powered LED (light-emitting diode) lighting devices such as solar lanterns, represents an important step to aid governments to harmonize their national standards and paves the way for market expansion for quality-assured devices.

CEM is one of the few regular meetings that brings together energy ministers, industry, academics and non-governmental organizations to discuss clean energy. The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) was launched in 2010 as a high-level intergovernmental forum to promote policies and programmes that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy. The 23 participating governments account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of global clean energy investment.

Wucherer and Vreeswijk join energy leaders in Washington

IEC President Klaus Wucherer and General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk represented the IEC at the GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership) annual summit in Washington DC from 5 to 7 June 2013. The summit brought together the heads of the largest electricity companies in the world.

Wucherer and Vreeswijk shared insights into the benefits that IEC work brings to the energy solutions of the future. During the summit, Wucherer participated in a panel discussion on the impact of emerging technologies and innovations on the utilities’ current business models. In addition the IEC hosted a session on energy microgrids for disaster resilience and recovery.

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership is an organization of the world’s leading electricity companies that promotes sustainable energy development through electricity sector projects and human capacity building activities in developing and emerging nations worldwide.

Smart Grid World Forum

The IEC, the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and VDE, the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies in Germany organized the World Smart Grid Forum 2013 in Berlin from 23 to 25 September 2013. One aim of the Forum was to help shape the path towards strong Smart Grids, Smart Communities and Smart Cities. The Forum was designed as a business, regulatory and technical executive perspective because it was important to the organizing institutions to capture not only the technical challenges and the decision-making aspects of roll-out of Smart Grids. More than 600 participants from 40 countries and all regions gave input into the Results & Recommendations document.

IEC brings its expertise to the global energy conversation (Photo: Norsk Hydro) IEC brings its expertise to the global energy conversation (Photo: Norsk Hydro)
IEC President Klaus Wucherer has represented the IEC at key energy events during the past year IEC President Klaus Wucherer has represented the IEC at key energy events during the past year
Recommendations from the World Smart Grid Forum 2013 call for greater international and regional cooperation and exchange Recommendations from the World Smart Grid Forum 2013 call for greater international and regional cooperation and exchange