International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2010 Number 15

At COP16 IEC outlines solutions to speeding up energy efficiency initiatives and eliminating duplication

Redesign the energy chain, technology coordination to be put in place, greater efficiency needed in how we use raw energy


Cancún, Mexico, 2010-12-09 Building on its White Paper, "Coping with the Energy Challenge", which was launched at the World Energy Congress in Montreal in September, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) this week underlined the need to speed up energy efficiency initiatives. Answering the call from delegates at the conference for global technical expertise, metrics and international energy efficiency standards, the IEC reminded participants that it already provides most of these tools and that duplication will slow down initiatives and lead to confusion.


IEC Smart Grid Mapping Solution

IEC General Secretary and CEO, Ronnie Amit, commented, "Energy efficiency is the largest energy potential out there and will contribute significantly to reducing emissions. Many of these efforts can be accelerated if all existing tools are applied and if governments, academia, international organizations and industry cooperate more closely."


"The IEC sees its role as a technology enabler, leveraging its access to 10 000 experts and 162 participating countries. Together with our partners, we can ensure that every technology-based energy efficiency initiative has a solid technical foundation to achieve smarter energy use, based on internationally relevant standards and metrics."


The IEC’s white paper, "Coping with the Energy Challenge", attempts for the first time to outline how the energy chain needs to be altered to achieve ambitious carbon emission reduction targets of 20% by 2020. In light of its findings, and with the demand for electricity expected to triple by 2050, it also identifies areas offering the highest potential for short and medium term energy efficiency results and their underlying standardization needs.


Ronnie Amit said: "Business as usual is no longer an option. All stakeholders need to work together on a planetary scale to reduce currently occurring duplications and ensure better outcomes for technology-based climate change initiatives. A global task force for energy-efficiency is urgently needed. As a global organization, we have always delivered the underlying frameworks needed to enable the roll-out of energy-efficient technologies. It is now important that more key players in governments, regulatory bodies and academia integrate those existing tools into their thought processes and road maps for energy efficiency."


The white paper explores what must be done to achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency. Through its assessment of the entire energy chain – from generation to distribution, consumption and storage, the IEC uses a projection model to identify future standardization needs over the next 20 years.

Major conclusions include:

Redesign the energy chain

There is a need to look at how we generate and consume energy, to redesign systems on a global scale, not individual products in specific countries/regions. For this, globally accepted metrics and technological expertise need to be applied to achieve optimal outcomes and eliminate market confusion. Many of these parameters are already available but now need to be consistently applied by all parties involved.


Technology coordination needs to be put in place

There is a need to achieve global coordination between all stakeholders to ensure technical feasibility is guaranteed globally and standardization is consistent internationally. This, together with the right regulations and financial support will allow increasing business up-take of energy-efficiency measures.


Greater efficiency needed in how we use raw energy

The smarter use of electric energy, what the IEC calls "smart electrification", can reduce emissions by using energy more efficiently through a system-wide approach. It is anticipated that the energy saved can help drive economies everywhere and provide more power to the energy poor.


As a result of the findings of the white paper, the IEC will now develop necessary reference and systems architectures to achieve a smart-electrification future, and seek greater collaboration and co-operation with international organizations, governments and regulatory bodies.


Copies of the White Paper can be down-loaded or ordered:

About the International Electrotechnical Commission

About the IEC: The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as "electrotechnology". It brings together 162 countries and many thousand electrotechnical experts.


IEC International Standards define safety, efficiency and performance for a vast range of technologies from power generation, transmission and distribution to home appliances and office equipment, smart buildings, transportation, industrial automation, wind, solar, marine energy, to mention just a few. The IEC is involved in all Smart Grid projects worldwide. As just one example of the impact of its standards: it has defined the basis for measuring and testing standby-energy consumption, which is today fundamental in many regulations world-wide.


The IEC also manages Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that equipment, systems or components conform to its International Standards.


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IEC Contact

Gabriela Ehrlich
Head of Communications
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Email: Gabriela Ehrlich
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