• ENARD Annex IV Transmissions System Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden, 10 January 2012.
• 18th Joint International Stellerator/Heliotron Workshop and 10th Asia Pacific Plasma Theory Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, and Murramurang Beachfront Nature Resort, NSW, Australia, 29 January - 3 February 2012.
• Second International Workshop on Cofiring Biomass with Coal, Copenhagen, Denmark, 27-28 March 2012.
• Clean Coal Centre Workshop on Upgrading and Efficiency Improvement in Coal Fired Plants, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 19-20 April 2012.
• 5th Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference (GMREC), Washington, United States, 24-26 April 2012.
• Innostock 2012, Lleida, Spain, 16-18 May 2012
• International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, San Francisco, United Stated, 9-11 July 2012
• 4th International Conference on Ocean Energy 2012, Dublin, Ireland, 17-19 October 2012
• 11th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference, (GHGT-11), Kyoto, Japan, 18-22 November, 2012.
1. Basis for alignment of ENARD with ISGAN agreed at co-ordinated programme of ExCo meetings. The Executive Committees (ExCos) of the Electricity Networks Analysis, Research and Development Implementing Agreement (ENARD IA) and the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN IA) met in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, October 2011, for a Joint Workshop on Smart Grids Knowledge Exchange, followed immediately thereafter by a co-ordinated programme of ExCo meetings to pursue the alignment of ENARD with ISGAN. Merging the two IAs is seen as the preferred medium/longer-term alternative, to allow for the optimum assimilation of ENARD’s work programme into ISGAN and the continuation of ISGAN, as a single Implementing Agreement thereafter. A Joint Declaration was signed between the two Implementing Agreements to this effect, confirming their intent to pursue a structured process of knowledge transfer and assimilation of ENARD into ISGAN over the coming months. Established in 2006, ENARD has served as an authoritative source of information and advice to governments and other stakeholders on current and future developments in electricity transmission and distribution networks. Consistent with the Joint Declaration it was also agreed to further develop ENARD Annex IV (Transmission Systems) over the next three months, before transferring its activities into ISGAN. The initiation of a further ENARD Annex (Annex V) was also agreed, entitled “International Knowledge Exchange of Smart Grid Demonstration Projects”, and is being created to support the ISGAN Annex 1 Smart Grid Inventory activities. Visit the ENARD website; read the Joint Declaration.
2. An international vision for ocean energy. With 71% of the earth’s surface covered by seawater and around 3 billion people currently living within 200km of the coast, the marine energy sector provides significant opportunities to contribute to the production of low-carbon renewable energy around the world. Ocean energy has the potential to supply electricity, drinking water, and other products at competitive prices, creating jobs and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. John Huckerby is the Chair of the Executive Committee of Ocean Energy Systems (OES), one of 42 IEA multilateral technology initiatives. In this article he talks about the current status and future potential of the technology. Access the article, the new OES website and 16-page brochure. Also recently created is Annex V on the exchange and assessment of ocean energy device project information and experience. The aim of this Annex is to facilitate the exchange and assessment of ocean energy project information and experience from participating member countries in order to foster a better understanding and accelerate the development of ocean energy technologies. See the Annex web page for more information.
3. China wind energy development roadmap outlines path for China to achieve 1000GW of wind by 2050. The share of wind power in Chinese electricity production could rise to 17% by 2050 from just 1% today according to a report launched in Beijing on 20 October. The report was prepared by the National Development and Reform Commission’s Energy Research Institute (NDRC ERI) with close technical support from the IEA. The report shows how China, already the world’s largest wind market, could reach 1000GW of wind power by the middle of the century, an achievement that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 gigatonnes per year in 2050, or roughly equivalent to the combined CO2 emissions of Germany, France and Italy in 2009. The China Wind Energy Roadmap is the first in what is hoped will be a series of national roadmaps developed by countries with IEA support, and drawing from its global roadmap series. Download the English summary.
4. Good Practice Policy Framework for Energy Technology Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D). Innovation is a key driver in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Technological change and development will significantly enhance the portfolio of options available and, over time, will bring down the cost of achieving global climate change goals. Well-designed targeted technology policies on both the supply and demand sides are a fundamental ingredient in a strategy to accelerate innovation. This recently released IEA information paper, first in the Accelerating Energy Innovation (AEI) Series, aims to assist countries in establishing a clear framework in which innovation of clean energy technologies can thrive, and within which effective and efficient policies can be identified, with the specific goal of advancing RD&D and ultimately the deployment of clean energy technologies. This paper identifies preliminary lessons learned and proposes six recommendations for good practice in the development of an energy RD&D framework drawing on analysis of literature and country experiences (via case studies). The next deliverable in the AEI work stream will be a chapter in the Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 publication on energy technology policy (one of the elements of the AEI good practice clean energy policy framework identified in the project) with a further report scheduled for release in early 2013. Access the paper here.
5. Costs of inaction. It is generally believed that aggressive climate change mitigation will result in economic losses, and that renewable energy is an expensive option for mitigation. A project initiated by the Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Programme (RETD IA) challenges that belief and creates a compelling case for energy system decarbonisation. Climate Change Adaptation, Damages and Fossil Fuel Dependence, an RETD Position Paper on the Costs of Inaction aims to advance the understanding of the “costs of inaction” i.e. the costs of climate change adaptation, damages and fossil fuel dependence. A quantitative estimate was developed as well as a better understanding of the knowledge gaps and research needs. The project also included some conceptual work on how to better integrate the analyses of mitigation, adaptation, damages and fossil fuel dependence in energy scenario modeling, and ultimately conveys the message that energy policy decisions need to be driven by the complete economic picture. Download here.
6. New perspectives on solar energy. In 90 minutes, enough sunlight strikes the earth to provide the entire planet's energy needs for one year. While solar energy is abundant, it represents a tiny fraction of the world’s current energy mix. But this is changing rapidly and is being driven by global action to improve energy access and supply security, and to mitigate climate change. Around the world, countries and companies are investing in solar generation capacity on an unprecedented scale, and, as a consequence, costs continue to fall and technologies improve. Solar Energy Perspectives, a new IEA publication, gives an authoritative view of these technologies and market trends, in both advanced and developing economies, while providing examples of the best and most advanced practices. It also provides a unique guide for policy makers, industry representatives and concerned stakeholders on how best to use, combine and successfully promote the major categories of solar energy: solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity, as well as solar fuels. Finally, in analysing the likely evolution of electricity and energy-consuming sectors – buildings, industry and transport – it explores the leading role solar energy could play in the long-term future of our energy system. Download the Table of Contents and Executive Summary. To purchase visit the IEA online bookshop.
7. “Our Energy Future: Secure, Sustainable and Together” was the theme of this year’s IEA Ministerial Meeting in Paris, which focused discussions around energy security, sustainability (economic and environmental) and engagement with non-member countries. The 18-19 October meeting brought together energy ministers from 28 IEA member countries as well as seven Partner countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Africa) and two accession countries (Chile, Estonia). Highlights from the Summary of the Chair included “…the need to increase the share of our public spending that goes to RD&D in low-carbon energy technologies and to expand international RD&D efforts…”. It was further confirmed that “…the IEA has an important role to play in further analysis of low-carbon policies and in fostering international co-operation, including through its energy technology roadmaps, the IEA Energy Technology Network and the International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform”. The collected documentation including Joint Statements with India and Russia and Joint Work Programmes with Brazil, Chile and South Africa can be downloaded from the IEA website.
8. New IEA international R&D projects, new participants.
- Two new annexes from the Buildings and Community Systems programme (ECBCS IA). Annex 57 will look at methods for evaluating embodied energy and related carbon dioxide emissions for buildings, develop guidelines that contribute to practitioners’ further understanding of the evaluation methods, and help them to find better design and construction solutions. Annex 58 will examine the development of knowledge, tools and networks to achieve reliable in situ dynamic testing and data analysis methods that can be used to characterise the actual energy performance of buildings.
- Finland and the United Kingdom have become Contracting Parties in the Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme on Smart Grids (ISGAN).
- Masdar Carbon has become a Sponsor in the Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme on Technologies Relating to Greenhouse Gases Derived from Fossil Fuel Use (GHG IA).
- Xstrata Coal has become a Sponsor in the Implementing Agreement for the IEA Clean Coal Centre (CCC IA).
- Columbus Superconductors of Gruppo Malacalza has become a Sponsor in the Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme for Assessing the Impacts of High-Temperature Superconductivity on the Electric Power Sector (HTS IA).
•Launch of new IEA Energy Journal. Launched at the recent IEA Ministerial Meeting in Paris, the IEA’s new journal, IEA Energy, will cover a broad range of energy issues from technology to environment and market developments, and will feature a variety of perspectives from government, industry and other intergovernmental organisations, both in IEA member countries and beyond. Download the first edition of IEA Energy here.
• Belgium’s first Implementing Agreement Day. Representatives from nine Implementing Agreements attended this networking event on 7 December in Brussels. The principal objective of the meeting was to allow the Belgian government to hear reports from the Implementing Agreements in which it participates, with a view to laying the foundations for a national energy technology network in Belgium. Access presentations here.
• New websites for IEA technology initiatives. Visit the recently re-designed web pages for the latest news from High-Temperature Superconductivity, and Renewable Energy Technology Deployment, two of the 42 IEA Multilateral Technology Initiatives.
• Making coal clean: what’s being done? Coal is the second largest source of primary energy in the world after oil, and the biggest source of electricity generation. It currently provides 40% of the world’s electricity needs. For the past decade, it has been the fastest-growing global energy source. So what's being done to address the global climate change challenge stemming from this sector in particular in the light of its growing contribution to global electricity production? Watch this IEA video.
• Energy Globe Award to SHC project. This year’s Energy Globe Award has been presented to a solar heating and cooling project which is part of a larger research project of the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC IA). The Drake Landing Solar Community in Alberta, Canada, is showing the extent to which solar heat can be used, even at higher altitudes, with an ingenious system that stores heat from the summer sun underground and then uses it in winter to meet some 80% of the community’s entire energy needs. Visit the website.
• Technology road show visits Dutch universities. Dutch university students and young researchers were the target audience for a Technology Network Road Show organised by NL Agency of the Netherlands last month. Representatives from a number of IEA technology programmes presented to students at three different university campuses with a view to raising awareness of the IEA Energy Technology Network among the next generation of scientists and researchers. Access presentations and the event report in English; or visit the NL Agency web pages (in Dutch only).
• ‘Using an LCA approach to estimate the net GHG emissions of bioenergy’ is the latest report from the Bioenergy IA. Aimed especially at practitioners, policy advisers and policy makers, this strategic report addresses the key methodological aspects of life cycle assessment (LCA) with respect to greenhouse gas (GHG) balances of bioenergy systems. It includes results via case studies for some important bioenergy supply chains in comparison to fossil energy systems. Access here. Also now available for download, presentations from a recent December workshop on the ‘Environmental Sustainability of Biomass’. Access here.
• Renovating Residential Buildings. Final reports from Annex 50 of the Buildings and Community Systems programme (ECBCS IA) on Prefabricated Systems for Low-energy Renovation of Residential Buildings are now available. Among these is Building Renovation Case Studieswhich gives an overview of six demonstration projects in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
•Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Greece 2011 Review. The IEA's 2011 review of energy policy in Greece finds that increasing competition and reducing the role of the state in the energy sector could make a significant contribution to the country’s economic recovery. Download the summary. Visit the IEA Online Bookshop.
• NEWSLETTERS from IEA programmes
- Bright Spark – Issue No. 3, September 2011, from the Efficient Electrical End-Use Equipment Programme (4E).
- Greenhouse News – Issue 103, September 2011 from the Greenhouse Gas R&D programme (GHG IA).
- DSM Spotlight – No 42, October 2011, from the Demand-Side Management Programme (DSM IA).
- Ocean Energy Systems Bulletin – October 2011, from the Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement (OES).
- EMSA Newsletter – No 3/2011 – from the Electric Motor Systems Annex of the Efficient Electrical End-Use Equipment programme (4E IA). Also available in German, Japanese and Chinese, with a Russian version available in early 2012.
- Solar and Heat Pump Systems Industry Newsletter, First Issue, October 2011, a joint initiative from Solar Heating and Cooling Task 44 and Heat Pump Programme Annex 38.
- ECBCS News – Issue 54, December 2011 from the Buildings and Community Systems programme (ECBCS IA).
- Bioenergy News – December 2011 from the Bioenergy IA. This issue features an editorial: Bioenergy Progresses in Australia.
• 2011 Annual Report from the Stellerator-Heliotron Concept Implementing Agreement overviews the collaborative activities and technical progress achieved in 2011, plus research plans for 2012.
• ENARD Annex IV Transmissions System Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden, 10 January 2012. In anticipation of ENARD’s planned alignment with ISGAN, the Swedish Transmission Research Institute (STRI) has been appointed to carry the Annex IV work programme forward, through to its integration into ISGAN’s work programme.The co-ordination group for this transition is therefore convening a highly focused workshop which will appeal to all those with a professional interest in Transmission System developments. For further information contact Carl Ohlen by 22 December.
• 2nd International Workshop on Cofiring Biomass with Coal, Copenhagen, Denmark, 27-28 March 2012. This workshop, organised by the Clean Coal Centre, with assistance from the Bioenergy IA Task 32 and VGB Powertech, will be attended by representatives from all parts of the biomass supply, processing and combustion chain as well as researchers from many countries. Visit the conference pages.
• Clean Coal Centre Workshop on Upgrading and Efficiency Improvement in Coal Fired Plants, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia), 19-20 April 2012. This workshop will bring together leading experts to share expertise on technical opportunities to improve the thermal efficiency of existing coal-fired plants, barriers and challenges to these opportunities, and specific initiatives that can substantially increase efficiency. Visit the conference pages and the website of the Clean Coal Centre.
• 18th Joint International Stellerator/Heliotron Workshop and 10th Asia Pacific Plasma Theory Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, and Murramurang Beachfront Nature Resort, NSW, Australia, 29 January - 3 February 2012. These meetings will provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of research in the field of helical fusion magnetic confinement, thereby bridging stellarator and tokamak communities, and fostering Asia-Pacific regional collaboration in theory and modeling. Visit the conference website.
• 5th Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference (GMREC), Washington, United States, 24-26 April 2012. Network with international marine experts, explore and exchange knowledge on best management practices, discuss financing instruments and regulatory drivers, and learn about U.S. and international policies supporting industry growth. Visit the conference website.
• Innostock 2012, 16-18 May 2012, Lleida, Spain. Sponsored by the Energy Conservation through Energy Storage programme (ECES IA) this conference will examine underground thermal energy storage; sensible, latent and thermo-chemical energy storage; and electrical storage. Visit the conference website.
• International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, San Francisco, USA, 9-11 July 2012. This conference is the first of a new series of annual conferences to specifically address solar thermal topics. It offers not only a discussion platform for project results and progress of the Solar Heating and Cooling programme (SHC IA), but also targets a much wider audience of the solar community. In addition to technical topics, the conference will address market and policy schemes from an international perspective. Abstracts due by 31 January 2012. Visit the event website.
• 4th International Conference on Ocean Energy 2012, Dublin, Ireland, 17-19 October 2012. Held every two years, this event will bring together some 750 international experts and world-leading companies in ocean energy to share recent experiences from research and demonstration efforts. It aims to accelerate development by stimulating collaboration networks between companies and research and development centres. A trade exhibition will also see top industrial players demonstrate the latest marine technologies. Visit the conference website.
• 11th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference (GHGT-11), Kyoto, Japan, 18-22 November 2012. Organised by the Greenhouse Gas R&D programme (GHG IA) and local host, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), GHGT-11 will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Centre. The GHGT conference series is the principal international platform for exhibiting and discussing new greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. For more information visit the GHG IA web pages.
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