Source: IEC Blog (https://blog.iec.ch/)
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that energy efficiency can play a vital role in economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Paris-based intergovernmental organization, more efficient use of energy could generate an untapped source of fuel, larger than fossil and renewable energy sources combined.
Energy efficiency can improve the economic competitiveness of countries and businesses, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life. The challenge, according to IEA projections up to 2035, is that as much as two-thirds of the energy efficiency potential are likely to remain untapped.
A major issue is that energy efficiency is invisible, it represents energy not used. Public and private stakeholders do not always understand the value of energy efficiency and instead focus on investments in energy generation.
A number of IEC technical committees (TCs) are leading the way in the field of electrical energy optimization. The IEC Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency (ACEE) has been set up to coordinate activities between the different IEC TCs that contribute to this area.
Hundreds of IEC International Standards apply energy efficiency considerations to every aspect of electricity generation, distribution, and its use by billions of devices and systems. IEC work supports the roll-out of more energy efficient technologies including those that make better use of primary energy and help reduce overall energy waste.
The 20 thousand experts who work in the IEC at the global level continuously update and improve IEC International Standards and with them the efficiency of all relevant devices and systems.
IEC work for energy efficiency helps improve industrial productivity in a number of areas. For example, during the innovation process, IEC International Standards allow companies and research laboratories to assess incremental gains in energy efficiency compared to competitive devices and systems that are already installed and available in the marketplace.
The whole wind industry measures the performance of wind turbines based on the criteria that are described in IEC International Standards. Regulators, insurers and investors know exactly what to expect from a new turbine: how it will perform at different wind speeds that are classified in IEC Standards; their endurance in terms of abrasion rates; how much power it is expected to deliver depending on where it is installed.
The performance of new designs can directly be compared with existing designs and installations. IEC International Standards are also essential in uprating and upgrading outdated installations since they provide the necessary and internationally recognized metrics and guidelines to improve performance.
For example, they provide the technical basis for the refurbishment of hydro installations with more efficient hydraulic turbines. Engineers learn how to proceed and what mistakes to avoid during installation, maintenance, and repair.
As countries emerge from lockdown and set about rebuilding their economies using energy more efficiently could help to stimulate growth. Longer term, increased efficiency will make it easier to cope with ever increasing demand, as the population increases and developing counties industrialize.
It will also ensure that enough energy will be available for future generations.
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