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Energy, and especially electricity, is the golden thread that impacts the majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and furthermore, the development of every nation and economy. The UN recognizes electricity access as a key pillar for economic development because it helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improves educational opportunities and enables higher quality healthcare.
Achieving better Electrical Energy Efficiency (EEE) is a very broad task that extends well beyond the more efficient transformation of primary energy, chiefly fossil fuels, into electrical energy. It must be introduced in energy-intensive sectors like industry and buildings. Standardization work by numerous IEC Technical Committees (TCs) is central to this broader objective.
It has been a busy year for Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4: Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) Applications, Distribution and Safety for use in Developed and Developing Economies. During the IEC 2016 General Meeting (GM) in Frankfurt, SEG 4 Convenor, Vimal Mahendru, presented a final report to the Standardization Management Board (SMB). The SMB voted in favour of the proposal to set up a Systems Committee (SyC) for LVDC and LVDC for electricity access.
In hundreds of smart city projects around the world, governments, municipalities and private stakeholders are investing in smart grids, open data platforms and networked transport systems to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability, population growth and urbanization.
IEC work impacts all aspects of life. Electricity and electronics are the cornerstone for all economies in developing and developed countries. IEC International Standards together with IEC Conformity Assessment Systems support 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From the smartphone alarm first thing in the morning to switching off the lights last thing at night, many products and systems in our daily lives run off electricity. We use the hairdryer, washing machine, stove, get on and off transport and walk through automated doors at the office, take the elevator, fire up the computer and purchase items online, expecting that everything will work reliably and safely.
Renewable Energy (RE) plays an increasingly important role in providing global populations with clean, affordable, sustainable energy. RE production and use continues to increase thanks to the falling cost of equipment and installation.
During the United Nations Climate Convention – 2015 Paris COP 21, it was recognized that renewable energy (RE) is a key part of the answer to achieving sustainable development and reducing the impact of climate change. Global electricity networks must adapt and include RE technologies.
We don’t think twice about using lights at home during the day or after dark. We have also got used to charging our smart phones wherever we are – at the airport, on a train or in the office – so that we can make online purchases, read the news, send messages, do banking or make a call. When we forget our phones or there is a blackout for an hour and we can’t watch television, use the computer or boil the kettle, we find it very annoying, but imagine if this were the norm.
World energy consumption is expected to grow by 37% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) energy markets forecast, which assumes the continuation of existing policies and measures and their implementation.
Continuing global growth in the on-line sector and so-called cloud services means a comparable and significant increase in the power use associated with those services. Major internet-based businesses such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are pushing for more dedicated renewable energy to meet their specific needs, but systems efficiency can also make a major contribution to curbing energy use. Emerging standards have a key role to play.
Over the last five years, the cost of renewable power generation technologies has dropped while the technology has improved. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Electric motors have many uses, in heavy industry, hospital generators, power tools, pumps to clean swimming pools, and many transport vehicles. Yet, they are the single biggest users of electricity, driving pumps, fans and other machines.
The decreasing cost of electronic devices and growing access to mobile technology and wireless networks are driving the expansion of the digital economy. Integrating biosensors into this mix could bring great benefits for medical care and for increasing safety in hazardous environments. IEC standardization work will have an important role to play in these developments.
Contrary to preconceived ideas, hazardous areas are not the “privilege” of a few specific industry sectors. They can be found almost anywhere at any given time when certain conditions leading to the formation of an explosive atmosphere are met.
What is conformity assessment (CA)? Why is it important? Why is it inevitably linked to standards? Does it really add value to products and systems? Does it have a role in fighting counterfeit goods? Does it facilitate access to markets and trade? Those are just a few of the many questions that were raised during the World Standards Cooperation (WSC) Workshop on Conformity Assessment that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1-2 December 2015.
On the one hand, energy efficiency is a new way of life that requires behavioural changes on the consumer’s part. On the other, the pressure is on the manufacturers of electrical equipment and devices to produce goods that consume as little energy as possible.