Fiona Harvey Energy ministers’ summit ends with promises and initiatives

Ten exciting new initiatives! Those are the results from the first “Clean Energy Ministerial” summit held in Washington DC on Monday and Tuesday.

The initiatives, we are told, will do all of the following: 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.

If they are all successful, they will “eliminate the need to build more than 500 mid-sized power plants worldwide in the next 20 years”.

Aside from the ambiguity of this – does it mean they will produce as much energy as 500 mid-sized power plants, but without the carbon, or does it mean as a result of these operations, the world will need to build a mere 500 mid-sized power plants and no more? – it does all seem just a little lacking in detail.

There was nothing on how much these iniatives would cost, and where exactly that money would come from.

TVs and lighting, and how to make both more efficient, will be the focus of one initiative aimed at “incentivising the deployment of super-efficient appliances”. Separately, 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”.

The Electric Vehicles Initiative will “enhance global cooperation on the development and deployment of electric vehicles”.

And of the 24 ministers there, 15 signed their governments up to the International Smart Grid Action Network. Which will “accelerate the development and deployment of smart electricity grids”.

The next Clean Energy Ministerial will be next spring, in the United Arab Emirates, where we will find out whether any of these initiatives has achieved anything yet.