Will clean energy appear on our horizon soon?

Leading energy-decision makers from 23 countries convened yesterday in London for the third annual Clean Energy Ministerial to work together to advance clean energy technology on a global scale, including the U.S. Energy Department’s Secretary Steven Chu.

While I agree with most in the Clean Energy Ministerial Logooil and gas industry that the clean energy initiatives will take longer than projected because of America’s dependency on oil – and strong domestic presence thanks to newfound energy in the Bakken and Marcellus shales, here is a look at the initiatives the group is focusing on and how soon they hope to see them in action.

The group which includes countries such as Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain and Norway, accounts for 90 percent of global green energy investment. While convening, the group focuses on what’s been accomplished during the past year and on creating plans for these 11 clean energy initiatives:

Electric Vehicles Initiative intuitively focuses on electric vehicles on a global scale. Specifically, the initiative seeks to have 20 million electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road worldwide by 2020.

Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership focuses on energy savings in the commercial buildings and industry. One such way countries are working on this is through joining the Cool Roofs Working Group. Last year India, Mexico and the United States committed to begin paving the way for a cooler planet by using white roofs on industrial buildings.

Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative works to transform the global market to create and sell energy-efficient equipment. Potential savings by switching to energy-efficient equipment and appliances is so great, that the Ministerial projects that by 2030 as much as $1 trillion of energy-related expenses could be saved by decreasing the amount of energy used.

Bioenergy Working Group works on the deployment of bioenergy, which essentially means it is a renewable energy source made from biological materials such as wood, straw, manure, sugarcane, etc. The term is also favored as a synonym to biofuel here in the States.

Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Action Group works on overcoming barriers to capturing, using and storing carbon, as its name implies.

– The Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group works to lower the costs of providing solar and wind energy across the world.

– The Sustainable Development of Hydropower Initiative works to develop sustainable, cost-effective hydropower.

– The Clean Energy Education & Empowerment women’s initiative strives to close the gender gap in clean energy, and recognize all ideas and talents from all members of society are needed to bring technological breakthroughs of the future.

To be honest, my first reaction was, ‘Are you kidding me? This is necessary in 2012? It’s sad that initiatives such as this have to be created so that women and men can be seen as equals in technological and scientific fields. What surprised me even more was that in the United States, women hold only 27 percent of science and engineering jobs – and only 21 percent when jobs are limited to the business and industry. Props to those women worldwide who work to make all fields of study equal regardless of gender.

– The Clean Energy Solutions Center is an online forum to share clean energy policy best practices, data and analysis tools across countries.

– The International Smart Grid Action Network works to accelerate the development and deployment of smarter electricity grids worldwide.

– The Solar and LED Energy Access Program wants to transform the global market for affordable, clean and high-quality off grid lighting for the approximately 1.6 billion people who lack access to grid-supplied electricity worldwide. The program’s goal is to provide improved lighting services for 10 million people within five years.

How viable do you think these initiatives are? To follow updates from the Ministerial this week, check them out on Twitter at: #CEM3.

Source: SherWare Blog



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