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

News release – 2013 Number 26

The energy challenge: Enabling real solutions globally


Geneva, Switzerland 2013-12-06 – In the wake of the UN Climate Change Conference COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, the IEC is urging countries, industry, and civil society to make better use of the real solutions that the IEC offers to help meet the energy challenge and mitigate climate change.



“IEC provides a global platform where thousands of experts from all over the world help build energy efficiency right into products, provide practical guidelines to reduce emissions and enable the broad roll-out of new energy technologies – real solutions for today’s real energy and environmental issues,” said Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO.


Real emmission reductions

“IEC work provides the globally relevant solid technical foundation for the broad roll-out of the most efficient energy solutions. Stakeholders from 165 countries participate in the IEC, giving it worldwide relevance,” said Vreeswijk.


The IEC provides the measurements, ratings, guidelines and recommendations for systems, devices and components that are used in the generation of energy from all, including renewable sources. In this way IEC helps to increase the reliability and affordability of all technologies, and enables meaningful performance comparisons.


Real access to energy

Rural electrification is an important step to bringing energy to remote areas. A multitude of stakeholders collaborated in the development of a series of IEC Technical Specifications for rural electrification. They included government entities such as the US Department of Energy, research laboratories and universities, private industry, and the Global Lighting initiatives of IFC and the World Bank.


These IEC Technical Specifications outline international best practice to support electricity generation across a range of technologies. The IEC is also a partner of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Its contribution to this initiative includes for example IEC/TS 62257-9-5 for stand-alone lighting kits for rural electrification.


While solar lanterns have been available for some time, IEC performance-based metrics and rigorous test protocols allows manufacturers to increase their quality, reliability and output while reducing cost. This increases consumer trust and results in the adoption of a safer, more efficient technology. In bringing the IEC into its network, the UN recognizes that IEC International Standards play a major role in bringing safe and sustainable energy to those who have none.


Real energy efficiency

Vreeswijk continued, “With 1,3 billion people worldwide living without electricity, much more needs to be done. For example, energy efficiency is still a major underexploited source of power. We know that increases of up to 30% are feasible right now if we just use already available technologies.”


Industry accounts for close to 40% of the world’s consumption of electric energy, with two-thirds of this used to drive electric motors. Increasing the efficiency levels of these motors by just a few percentage points has asignificant impact on overall energy consumption worldwide.


IEC efficiency ratings allow manufacturers to demonstrate and compare product efficiency levels and they provide a real-life basis for energy regulations. As well, intelligent automation and control systems and variable-speed motors help ensure that energy is only consumed when and where necessary.


The behind-the-scenes engineering and scientific work the IEC delivers in this space enables the concrete roll-out of a broad variety of energy efficiency measures. An example is the 1 Watt stand-by power regulations that are now being enforced in many countries of the world. Moreover, with IEC International Standards, best practice energy management is continuously being built into electrical devices, from the start of a product’s design. At the point of use this makes all the difference in reducing energy consumption.


Real global relevance
The IEC is a trusted energy partner of industry, governments and international organizations, supporting them in their efforts to meet today’s energy challenges. In addition, literally thousands of companies, from small SME’s to huge multinationals also participate in IEC work. The IEC is also the key partner for all actors of the energy sector, providing most of the technical International Standards for automation, power generation, transmission and distribution, including for Smart Grids and Smart Cities. Recognizing that there are still many challenges to be overcome to ensure sustainable energy is a reality for all. The IEC remains committed to its role as the organization that helps to keep the lights on. For more information please see The energy challenge: Enabling real solutions globally.


Media contact

Gabriela Ehrlich
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Email:Gabriela Ehrlich
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich


News release 2013-12-06

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