Energy efficiency high on the agenda
PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress) held its 34th meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on 31 March-2 April. The IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Office) Officer in Charge, Dennis Chew, was present. Energy efficiency, electric vehicles and home energy management systems were high on the agenda.
Annual PASC meeting meets in Bangkok
The annual PASC meeting was chaired by Nattapon Nattasomboon, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Industry. Since nearly all of the 24 PASC members were present, they were able to exchange information about some of the key issues affecting the region while learning more about the IEC international standardization matters of the previous year.
From EVs to the Smart Grid
Discussions covered major energy efficiency issues such as EVs (electric vehicles) and the Smart Grid, and PASC members were most interested to hear about some of the IEC initiatives of the previous 12 months. These included the IEC White Paper, "Coping with the energy challenge". This forward-thinking document looks at energy-efficient measures that can be made possible through smart electrification. It was first presented at the World Energy Congress in Montreal, Canada, in September 2010, and later that year at the G-20 (Group of 20) summit in South Korea and the climate change talks in Cancún, Mexico.
Another source of information is the dedicated portal the IEC provides on the Smart Grid. It provides background information, a mapping tool, roadmap and a list of pertinent International Standards useful for Smart Grid developments.
In June 2010, the IEC held an information session in Geneva for representatives from permanent missions to the United Nations, as well as other Geneva-based international organizations. Focusing particularly on the Asia-Pacific area, it aimed at familiarizing attendees with the IEC, and raised the understanding and interest in international standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment) activities. At the same time, PASC members were pleased to hear about another regional activity held at the end of 2010 in the context of JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee) and the APSG (Asia-Pacific Steering Group). Its focus was also energy efficiency.
Other participatory efforts initiated in 2010 include the IEC Young Professionals' Programme. It has been set up to provide the younger generation with a platform to participate more actively in IEC work and engage more with IEC NCs (National Committees). It aims to help NCs develop their pool of experts and increase their contact with industry. Many of the PASC members are also part of the IEC, and IEC NCs were not only encouraged to participate in the selection process for the 2011 Young Professionals who will be attending the IEC General Meeting in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2011 but also to nominate national recipients for the IEC Lord Kelvin and Thomas Edison Awards.
"We are looking forward to seeing many of you in Melbourne at the next General Meeting," said Chew. "We call upon you to motivate the PASC community to increasingly participate in IEC standardization work and defend the technical interests of this region through the IEC."
Conformity Assessment growing
Participation in the IEC CA Systems has been growing throughout the year, illustrated particularly by the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) with its "Common Regulatory Framework" to help reduce explosion risks and better protect workers and populations, an endorsement for the IEC and its CA System.
Future is to include home energy management systems
Chew expects a lot more IEC technical work to take place in the PASC countries in coming months. "PASC members are increasingly concerned about energy efficiency and the different measures they can put into place," he said.
"Our Smart Grid work will be helpful in the context of the PASC decision to follow the suggestion of the Japanese member and include the topic of HEMS (home energy management systems) at next year's PASC 35."
The 2012 PASC meeting is to be held in Yeosu, South Korea, on 4-8 June 2012.
Cooperation between PASC and the IEC
As part of its mission of facilitating international trade, the IEC aims to maximize worldwide acceptance and adoption of globally harmonized IEC standards that meet the needs of all major markets.
The PASC Charter recognizes the need to strengthen international standardization programmes and the ability of Pacific Rim countries to participate effectively in these programmes. The IEC and PASC have consequently agreed to co-operate in a number of areas, covering especially cross representation and exchange of information.
Representatives of 21 of the 24 PASC members who attended the 2011 meeting included those from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.