Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) members have released a list of commitments to help increase clean energy projects and drive economic growth across the world. The seventh Clean Energy Ministerial took place in San Francisco at the start of this month. The event brought together energy ministers and high-profile attendees from 23 countries.
CEM members, representing 90 percent of global clean energy investment and 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, agreed to launch an enhanced effort – called “CEM 2.0” – to increase its effectiveness by creating an international secretariat to support CEM initiatives.
In addition, CEM members, nearly 60 companies and non-governmental organizations, and 10 subnational governments announced more than $1.5 billion in commitments to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies and increase energy access. CEM ministers launched three new, high-impact campaigns that will promote the procurement of electricity from renewable energy, commercial and industrial energy efficiency, and advanced cooling technologies.
Ernest Moniz, U.S. Energy Secretary, said: “As one of the first major gatherings of clean energy leaders since COP21, CEM7 is a key tool needed to implement the clean energy goals made in Paris. CEM and the commitments made today demonstrate how the United States and our global partners can speed the deployment of clean energy technologies to meet our climate goals, grow low-carbon economies, and strengthen our energy security.”
Hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the meeting included, among others, Maroš Šefčovič, the European Union’s Vice President for Energy Union; Carlos Moedas, the EU’s Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation; James Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources; Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary of Energy; Motoo Hayashi, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Tord Lien, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, and Yin Hejun, China’s Vice Minister of Science and Technology. In a video address, President Obama welcomed participants to CEM7. A letter from China’s President Xi then invited participants to China for next year’s CEM meeting (CEM8).
The European Union today announced that, in cooperation with a member state, they will host CEM9 in 2018. European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, said: “Clean energy is the future. We need innovation to bring down the cost of clean energy and to develop breakthrough technologies. International cooperation is needed to address the global challenge of the energy transition and CEM provides the platform for coordinated action. The European Commission is proud to support this initiative by bringing it back to Europe in 2018.”
James Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Home grown emission-reducing and clean energy technologies play an increasingly important role in Canada’s economic growth as we support the global transition to a low-carbon economy. Government and private sector investments in clean energy and technology research and development will help us meet our climate change objectives, increase Canada’s competitiveness and support employment opportunities across the country. The progress we are already making on global clean energy cooperation in making clean energy affordable bodes well for the future as we advance common energy, environment and economic goals.”
Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico’s Secretary, said: “Through the CEM, Mexico with its partners’ supports and commits to transition towards a clean and low carbon energy sector, and climate change mitigation. Through CEM initiatives on the power system transformation for renewables and energy efficiency for large users, Mexico’s new energy model promotes a conducive environment for public-private partnerships and investment.”
In addition to the campaigns launched this year, new commitments were announced for efforts initiated at CEM6 and COP21. These commitments will advance super-efficient lighting, help transform power systems for the 21st century, improve energy access, and enhance the deployment of clean energy policy expertise.
CEM7 also featured a Start-ups and Solutions Technology Showcase held in San Francisco’s Union Square. The Showcase featured around 100 innovative companies and organizations from six continents demonstrating the breakthrough technologies that will advance the clean energy sector and worldwide economy for years to come.
The week of CEM7 also included other clean energy-focused events such the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Symposium on Women in Clean Energy, EnergyAccessX, and Power System Transformation.
Speakers and panellists over the two day Ministerial included California Governor Jerry Brown, Apple Vice President Lisa Jackson, EDF RE CEO Tristan Grimbert, PG&E President and CEO Tony Earley, Jr., XPRIZE Foundation Principal Paul Bunje, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, University of California President Janet Napolitano, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Michael Liebreich, Advisory Board Chairman of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The full roster of ministers and speakers attending is available online.
For all of the CEM Campaign Commitments visit the website.
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!