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2018 was a year of extreme weather. Some of the lowest and highest temperatures were recorded in both hemispheres, while gale-force winds fuelled wildfires in a number of regions and hurricane-strength typhoons caused severe flooding in others.
The IEC General-Secretary and CEO, Frans Vreeswijk, has told 150 stakeholders from across the renewable energy sector that international standards and public policy share important objectives. These include facilitating international trade, bolstering economic competitiveness and enhancing safety and efficiency. Mr. Vreeswijk was addressing the first IEC Regulator Forum during the recent General Meeting in Busan, South Korea.
“IECRE certification will de-risk the investments of financial institutions in large renewable energy projects at insignificant cost”, according to Sandy Butterfield, Chair of IECRE, who talked about the benefits of the conformity assessment system at a promotional event held during the China Wind Power 2018 event. “Financial investors benefit the most from IECRE certification, yet of all the state holders, they are probably the least aware of the benefits”, Butterfield added.
One of the earliest IEC technical committees (TCs) prepares the future for electric motors and generators.
IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, has established a new mechanism, which will allow applications from renewable energy test laboratories (RETLs) that cover the power performance assessment of electricity producing tidal energy converters within IEC Technical Specification (TS) 62600-200.
More and more governments and industry players recognize the importance of taking measures to safeguard the environment. But do International Standards have a role to play in the process?
Technology breakthroughs are lowering the cost of renewable energies while low-voltage direct current systems (LVDC) are being tested by experts both in the developed and developing world.
The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events.
As we move towards more connected environments, cyber security threats are increasing. One technology that could help with data protection is blockchain, which is also starting to be used in some renewable energy projects.
The global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is well under way, with record new additions of installed renewable energy capacity, thanks in part to rapidly falling costs, particularly for solar PV and wind power.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewables 2017 Report highlights that new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity grew globally by 50% in 2016, reaching over 74 GW. It also notes the significant point that for the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal.
The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.
IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants, publishes its first two Technical Specifications (TS) on solar radiation data sets.
Electricity access is one of the key drivers for economic development, better healthcare, increased safety, education, as well as efficiency gains in agriculture and manufacturing.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Renewables Market Report series for 2017, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, thanks to a strong solar PV market. The Report forecasts that though coal will still be the largest source of electricity generation, renewables are expected to halve the gap down to 17% by 2022.
By 2030, total installed PV capacity could range between 1 760 gigawatts (GW) and 2 500 GW. However, if market growth is to remain sustainable, the technology must be enhanced, and the risk for investors, policy makers and consumers reduced, according to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The world's growing population and the increasing use of renewable energies are posing unprecedented challenges for the conventional electricity grid. Intelligent systems which can accommodate renewable and distributed energy generation are a novel way of coping with these multifaceted demands.
Our world is changing rapidly and technologies are converging all around us. Enhancements in communications, renewable energy, medical devices and many other areas have improved health, economic safety and development, which can benefit everyone.
A number of low voltage direct current (LVDC) trials are preparing the ground for a wider use of the technology, both in developed and developing countries.
Mitigating risk and anticipating attack vulnerabilities on utility grids and systems are not just about installing technology, but also about understanding risk.
While the part of renewable energy sources - solar, wind, marine and hydro - in the energy mix has been growing steadily in recent years, fossil fuels still play a major role in energy generation, distribution and consumption.
The demand for energy is growing fast, for electricity even faster. To meet the needs of over 9 billion people by 2050, energy production will have to double while at the same time greenhouse gas emissions will have to be drastically reduced. This can only be achieved through a transition from a carbon-based economy towards a sustainable and efficient energy model that is accessible to all on the planet.
As the price of photovoltaic (PV) systems continues to tumble and the requirement for cleaner renewable forms of energy grows, more and more of our energy needs will be met by PV-generated power. The IEC is a leader in the field of PV standardization which falls under the responsibility of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems. The TC is publishing International Standards which facilitate market growth and global trade in this crucial sector.
Each year sees an increase not only in the number of countries participating in the IEC Affiliate Country Programme but also in the number of International Standards adopted as national ones, national electrotechnical committees (NECs) established and Affiliate Plus status granted. In the past 12 months, the Affiliate Secretariat has been extremely busy supporting participants in the Programme through workshops, seminars, webinars and training sessions, to name but a few of the support activities organized to raise awareness and know-how in developing countries.
Energy efficiency (EE) is the most important and easily available source of energy; it can be collected along the entire energy chain, from generation, transmission and storage to final use in industry, homes or transportation. IEC standardization and conformity assessment (CA) work are central to electrical EE at all levels.
Take the 170 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many certification bodies (CBs) and test laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community.
IEC TC 4 Secretary Robert Arseneault, winner of the 2016 IEC Thomas A. Edison Award, was at IEC Central Office (CO) recently to receive his award. Arseneault also shared a few thoughts with e-tech on some aspects of the future of hydropower in general. e-tech will report in more depth on certain lesser-known features of hydropower in the very near future.
Among these, in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Sustainable Energy for All (SDG 7), while the year ended in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, where 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius
The World Standards Day competition is back. In past years, we’ve had first poster competitions, then video competitions – this year we have both.
What is the future for cars, buses and trucks? Manufacturers are competing to stay relevant in the years ahead. The IEC is also paving the way with a number of forward-looking Standards.
Power failure recovery is a key task for governments, hospitals and private businesses to get to grips with if they want to reduce the disruption caused by power outages resulting from natural disasters. Smart and microgrids are one of the solutions and the IEC is leading the way with the appropriate Standards.
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.
Nava provides insights into a Mexican programme that aims to increase energy efficiency with consumers and the need to encourage the take-up of renewable energy sources.
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.
Over the past few months, the Standardization Management Board (SMB) approved several new Chairs who have taken up their roles.
Developed with the participation of industry players, including equipment manufacturers, power producers, insurance companies, test laboratories and certifying bodies, IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, streamlines a complex process and benefits not only the wind, but other renewable energy industries such as solar and marine.
Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing region, topped only by emerging Asia. Over the coming years the African economy is expected to grow by 7,7% annually – almost double the rate of advanced economies. Even though Africa is starting from a low point, corresponding roughly to where Southeast Asia was 30 years ago, the opportunities are huge. Already now Africa is third in terms of investment, right after the European Union and China. A more reliable infrastructure and consistent energy access could significantly accelerate this trend.
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.
Take the 169 countries in the IEC family, the 20 000 technical experts who work in standards development, the many Certification Bodies (CBs) and Test Laboratories (TLs) in the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and add to the mix the rapid pace at which technologies are evolving today and you have hundreds, if not thousands of stories that can be told within the IEC community.
The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.
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.
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).
On the way to the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong made a stop at the IEC in Geneva. During the meeting the idea surfaced to sign an MoU to simplify the development of a carbon-free infrastructure for the Korean island, notably with the help of IEC International Standards.
On 30 and 31 March 2016, the first International Conference on Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) took place in Beijing, China. The event was initiated by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Edison Institute and Caring for Climate (C4C), and co-organized among others with the IEC. Dr Shu, IEC Vice President and President of SGCC, and Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, both presented how such a vision can be brought to reality, to an audience of more than 500 people.
A sense of collective responsibility is required to cope with the growing dependence on energy, given the fundamentally unpredictable nature of primary energy supply, the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and changing energy consumption demands and patterns. The growing need for decentralized (local or remote, residential or commercial) power generation calls for systems that maximize small-scale electrical efficiency. Fuel cells (FCs) are ideal candidates for fulfilling this demand. In fact, at 60% proven net electrical efficiency for generators with a power output as low as 1 kWe, FC systems are head and shoulders above any other fuel conversion technology. If they are to succeed in being deployed widely, FCs for stationary applications should be able to use any locally available fuel. When and if production volumes manage to cover the extensive need for small-to-medium scale generation – which will also depend on the realization of anticipated reductions in cost – there is no reason why FCs should not also be used on the largest scales of power production.
Energy is the life-blood of developed and developing economies. IEC work helps enable broad access to sustainable energy and directly supports UN Sustainable Development Goals. It does so by providing universally accessible technical know-how and expertise in the form of International Standards. With them countries are able to build safer, more affordable infrastructure that is easier to maintain. To be even closer to Africa, the IEC has now opened a Regional Centre for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
Hundreds of standards for Renewable Energy technology are now accessible in one easy-to-use platform.
Rapid population growth, economic development and human consumption continue to use up natural resources beyond what the planet can sustainably provide. The need to deliver power produced from renewable energy has never been greater.
As countries throughout the world try to increase the share of renewable energies (REs) in their electricity generation portfolio, wind power has surfaced as the most cost-effective and fastest-growing new RE sources in recent decades. Standardization work by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 88: Wind turbines, has made this expansion possible.
With global energy demand forecast to increase by 33% between now and 2025, the IEC co-hosted a workshop on International Standards in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies in Paris on 13 March 2014.
Together with wind and marine resources, energy generation from PV (photovoltaic) systems is a relatively recent source of renewable energy. It has been expanding dramatically in recent years and is set to provide a growing share of the future global energy mix. IEC TC (Technical Committee) 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems, prepares International Standards that play a central role in the development of PV technology and that contribute to cost reduction and innovation and to safer, better and more efficient PV systems.
Electrification is one of the key drivers facilitating economic and socio-cultural development. However rural areas in developing countries can sometimes be too remote to connect to the main grid – in these circumstances renewable energy off-grid applications provide the most suitable energy solution.
Conrad Ulrich Brunner’s nomination as Swiss member to SMB SG (Strategic Group) 1 has been endorsed by SMB (Strategic Management Board).