A new report, the Energy Vision Update 2010 – Towards a More Energy Efficient World, by the World Economic Forum, found that energy efficiency can contribute most towards a new, green energy mix that is affordable. In fact, it concludes that efficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less. is at the core of several energy related issues.

The report also finds that energy efficiency seems to be misunderstood in its crucial role and needs some sort of “rebranding” in order to launch its full potential. “Efficiency is often incorrectly associated with sacrifice,” noted Daniel Yergin, Chairman, CERA, Executive Vice-President, IHS, USA.  But in reality efficiency means getting out more of the things we use by improving efficiency and productivity of energy use. It means that  we preserve or even enhance our lifestyle but need less energy due to technical or behavioral innovation. Efficiency can therefore contribute “supply” while at the same time help reducing costCost: The consumption of resources such as labour time, capital, materials, fuels, etc. as the consequence of an action. In economics, all resources are valued at their opportunity cost, which is the value of the most valuable alternative use of the resources. Costs are defi ned in a variety of ... and emissionsEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC) as well as improving energy securityLowers tensions in domestic energy supply and reduces energy shortages..


Modern and global challenges like growing energy demand, dependence on energy imports and environmental issues such as global warmingHuman activities are adding greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, to the atmosphere, which are enhancing the natural greenhouse effect. While the natural greenhouse effect is keeping average temperature on earth at about +15°C, this enhanced greenhouse effect ... have moved efficiency to the top of agendas for both governments and businesses. Yet companies and individuals tend to prefer products that they can “see, feel and touch”, and governments have an intresest in measures that generate jobs and technologies for export. The intangibility of efficiency therefore presents a challenge to be overcome in order to fully exploit its potential. It’s a way of thinking.

John Krenicki, Vice-Chairman, GE and President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Energy, USA, recommends to start improving efficiency with the foundation of electricity supply – the gridA grid is a network of transmission lines, usually to distribute electric power .. Rather large quantities are lost through transmission and distribution of power from generation sources to load sources. In the U.S., those losses are around 6% of total energy generated, in India such losses can reach up to 25%! Distributing utilities will have to consider investment in technology that optimizes reactive power flows and system voltage, for example Integrated Volt/VAR Control (IVVC), a chance to reduce voltage by about 4. In the U.S., this measure alone could save up to 28 billion kWh a year, 16 million tons of CO2, by 2030.  TransmissionTransporting electric power over long distances, usually at high voltage to reduce losses. losses can by reduced to a similar extend through Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS). In fact, , a useful way to think about the smart grid is a fusion of information technology with the transmission system to improve efficiency and productivity.co2.gif

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City of San Francisco, USA insists that crises breeds opportunity! San Fransisco has been presented with an opportunity to be creative . They have responded with the development of innovative solutions that reduce energy use and emissions, save money, create jobs and protect human healthThe health status of millions of people is projected to be affected through, for example, increases in malnutrition; increased deaths, diseases and injury due to extreme weather events; increased burden of diarrhoeal diseases; increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher ... in a city of 800,000 people that is the heart of California’s Bay Area. The development of the Power Savers Program has saved participating businesses more than US$ 3.5 million on their electricityElectricity generation includes all technologies that turn some form of energy into useful electric energy. Electricity is a form of energy that has magnetic, radiant and chemical effects. Electric current is created by a flow of electrons. bills by offering some 4,000 hard-to-reach owners of small businesses such as grocery stores, retail and restaurants free energy auditsSuch energy audits are applied to both companies and households. They usually work based on a benchmarking system. and coordinated lightingExamples of efficient light are LEDs, halogens, CFLs and luminaries. retrofit installation, as well as buy-downs of the cost of lighting retrofits.

On the commercial side, the Peak Energy Program provided rebates to small and medium-size businesses to install energy efficient lighting and equipment. They also offered on-going technical assistance and performance-based incentives. It was possible to reduce electricity by 18 MW, enough to power 18,000 homes.lightbulb.gif

The report concludes that information and knowledge about investment-grade energy efficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less. positively influences consumer behavior and that technological innovation allows companies and policy-makers to create the distinctive “infrastructure” that is essential to reaching energy efficiency goals.

In reality, the findings of this report don’t surprise me – now it’s time for decision makers to accept and implement the solutions offered. I believe such policies will bring about perfect opportunities for substantial commercial and environmental progress.small_sun.gif

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