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Women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 29% of those in science research and development are women, with a low of 19% in South and West Asia and a high of 48% in Central Asia. Europe and North America are at 32%.
IEC Council elected Yinbiao Shu of China as IEC President for a three-year term of office, starting 1 January 2020.
Imagine using the millions of kilometres of paved roads around the world to harvest energy. Apart from the initial investment costs required for equipment and installation, this energy source is free to produce and has no adverse effect on the environment. Instead, it uses sunlight or the mechanical vibrations produced by vehicles to generate electrical energy.
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.
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.
In 2015, global generation of electricity was 24 255 TWh. Hydropower accounted for around 16% of the total, making it the main renewable energy (RE) source for electricity generation. It will also play a key role in the future integration of power generated by new RE sources and in balancing its impact on the grid.
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.
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
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.
Recovering energy can offer attractive solutions for providing additional power to motor vehicles at the same time as cutting their fuel consumption and emissions. They rely on a number of systems that recover thermal, kinetic, or other forms of energy (such as solar) that would either be lost or not used in vehicles.
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 in itself is not smart. What makes it smart then? The numerous technological advances that allow companies and household to use energy more efficiently.
Energy efficiency represents the biggest source of untapped energy in the world and, by helping slowing down final energy consumption, one of the main contributors in the reduction of noxious gases emissions. Improved electrical energy efficiency is made possible by standardization work performed by many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and starts with electricity generation, distribution and storage.
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.
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 propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes. Outperformed on water and on land in the early 20th century by more efficient internal combustion engines with their longer range, electric propulsion is now making a comeback on waterways. A number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) develop International Standards that provide essential support for this renewal.
The wider introduction of electric vehicles is seen as a major move in cutting emissions of harmful substances and dependence on fossil fuels. Going a step further, some transport sector analysts forecast that a new generation of vehicles relying on the on-board conversion of harvested energy, rather than on self-contained power sources, will have a significant impact on the future of transport. Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, a market research and business intelligence company, shared with e-tech details of some of the current developments in this area.
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.
Global energy needs are increasing constantly and with the diminishing supply of fossil fuels and rising environmental and safety concerns, renewables are likely to occupy a growing share of the future energy mix. Through its standardization and conformity assessment (CA) work, the IEC is promoting the development of renewable sources for electricity production.
At the 2014 IEC General Meeting in Tokyo, the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) agreed to set up a Systems Evaluation Group, SEG 4: Low voltage direct current (LVDC) applications, distribution and safety for use in developed and developing economies. e-tech asked SEG Convenor Vimal Mahendru to explain what drew him to the LVDC domain, the global challenges and opportunities he anticipates for the technology, and the contribution IEC SEG 4 can make to its global adoption.
The IEC, which has been at the forefront of international standardization in the wind, solar and marine energy fields for many years, has now gone a step further and launched IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications.
The ever increasing demand for electricity and the need to reduce the share of fossil fuels in power generation have led to rapid development and growth of the RE (renewable energy) sector. The IEC, which has been at the forefront of international standardization in the wind, solar and marine energy fields for many years, has now gone a step further and launched IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications.