At the world's first Clean Energy Ministerial, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on 20 July that the United States is helping launch more than 10 international clean energy initiatives. These will cut energy waste; help deploy smart grid, electric vehicle, and carbon capture technologies; support renewable energy markets; expand access to clean energy resources and jobs; and support women pursuing careers in clean energy.
Under Secretary of Energy and SPIE Fellow Kristina Johnson (pictured) will lead the the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C-3E) Women's Initiative to encourage women to pursue careers in clean energy and lend their innovative power to creating future clean energy technologies. It will offer university talks around the world by women leading in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Governments participating in the C-3E Women's Initiative include Australia, Denmark, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Ministers from 24 governments are participating in the two-day Ministerial. These countries represent more than 80% of global energy consumption and a similar percentage of the global market for clean energy technologies.
As part of the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge, governments joined the U.S. to improve efficiency in the buildings, industrial and vehicles sectors. The Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) Partnership will help large buildings and industrial facilities measure and manage their energy use, which will save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under this public-private partnership, governments will establish internationally-recognized certification programs to recognize facilities that adopt approved energy management systems and achieve significant and independently validated efficiency improvements over time. To start, eight companies representing over $600 billion in annual sales and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will pilot the program.
Fifteen governments joined the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN). This partnership will accelerate the development and deployment of smart electricity grids around the world by facilitating cooperation in key areas, including smart grid policy, regulation and finance; standards policy; technology research, development and demonstration; workforce skills and expertise; and consumer engagement.
The Solar and LED Energy Access Program (SLED) focuses on the approximately 1.6 billion people who lack access to grid electricity. It aims to transform the global market for affordable, clean, and quality-assured off-grid appliances by addressing fundamental barriers to market development. The program will initially focus on replacing dirty, fossil fuel-based light sources like kerosene lanterns with solar LED lights. The program is expected to improve lighting services for 10 million people within five years.
Full press release from Department of Energy
Clean Energy Ministerial fact sheet (PDF)
Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C-3E) Women's Initiative (PDF)
Filling the Global Energy Research Gap (NY Times Dot Earth blog)