Germany’s energy minister has announced massive investment in energy efficient technologies to take place over the next five years. Sigmar Gabriel said the country will invest €17bn ($19.4bn) in a “broad campaign”, dubbed ‘Effizienzoffensive’, with an ultimate goal of halving energy consumption by 2050. ‘Effizienzoffensive’ will comprise of four programmes including: A competitive tender to find the most cost-effective energy saving measures; A pilot programme promoting smart metering; An initiative to improve the recovery of waste heat, and; An initiative to promote cross-cutting technologies, namely those that enhance the efficiency of energy output or its use. “In practical terms, (the aim is) to halve the energy consumption by 2050, which corresponds mathematically to the current combined energy consumption of the Benelux countries and Austria,” the ministry said.
Power Engineering International 13th May 2016 read more »
Jenny Chu, a manager at The Climate Group, was speaking from the Alliance to Save Energy’s annual efficiency conference, which took place this week in Washington, D.C., and where The Climate Group — an international nonprofit that works with businesses and governments to transition to clean energy — launched a new initiative, EP100. Under EP100, companies will commit to doubling their energy productivity — that is, getting just as much done using only half the energy (or getting twice as much done for the same amount of energy — you get the idea). That’s a big deal. One of the major talking points against emissions reductions is that lowering our carbon footprint will ruin the economy — but efficiency is hard to argue against. And perhaps more than other emissions-reductions efforts, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in efficiency. According to light bulb company Phillips, if all the world’s companies switched from old-fashioned light bulbs to LED ones, they would collectively save $94 billion in energy costs — and reduce demand by the equivalent of 371 power plants. (For comparison, there are currently 290 active coal-fired power plants in the entire United States). And if you’re willing to go further than light bulbs, there is more hidden inefficiency to target. A retrofit at Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel building resulted in $1 million worth of energy savings each year for the commercial building, according to Danfoss, another company that joined the EP100 initiative this week. That company installed new pumps for the 64-story building’s water supply and new fans in its air circulation system. In a case study, the building manager says that driving down energy costs has also made the building more attractive to tenants — a positive economic side effect.
Climate Progress 13th May 2016 read more »
The energy department is drawing up changes to two household schemes, the ECO and the Warm Homes Discount. The ECO, or energy companies obligation, is a levy on bills which goes towards home insulation. The Warm Homes Discount helps pensioners with their bills during the winter. Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, wants to focus both schemes more closely on lower-income people who need more help. The government is also preparing for sweeping reforms to the energy market, implementing proposals set out recently by the Competition and Markets Authority. It proposed a cap on prepay charges for electricity customers to help the poorest households and called for companies to be forced to share data on customers in what has been billed by critics as a “spammers’ charter”. There will not be a standalone energy bill but the CMA proposals could end up in a “markets bill”.
FT 13th May 2016 read more »