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The OPEN Energy Technology Bulletin circulates news of activities, findings, events and publications originating within the IEA Energy Technology Network. Its particular focus is on news from entities coming under the guidance of the IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT). Through the OPEN Energy Technology Bulletin, the IEA seeks to generate broader cross-fertilisation of energy technology information and ideas among a readership of energy policy-makers and all those concerned with energy technology issues around the globe. The goal is to create wider awareness, both within and outside IEA Membership, of advances in energy technology development and deployment associated with the work of the IEA Energy Technology Network.

February 2012

News in brief

1. Along the Irish road to a sustainable energy future.  With the recent launch of three new energy technology roadmaps with a potential, if implemented, to save more then 250 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050, Ireland is showing it is serious about its renewable energy targets.  The national roadmaps – which focus on wind power, smart grids and electric vehicles – have been constructed in line with methodologies developed by the IEA, and offer many potential benefits including reduced energy imports leading to increased security of supply, and significant employment and economic opportunities. Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, offers thoughts on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.  Access the interview Owen Lewis interview.

Meanwhile the IEA International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform is launching a new initiative aimed at supporting the development and implementation of technology roadmaps via “How2Guides”.  Designed to provide authoritative technology, policy, and methodological guidance at the national, regional or system level, the guides will be technology (or system) specific and geographically neutral (i.e. applicable in any country or region). Several projects are already underway for 2012, including How2Guide for Smart Grids in Distribution Networks and How2Guide for Wind Energy. For further information contact

2. Closing the loop on behaviour change theory.  When it comes to energy use there is nothing quite as unpredictable as human behaviour. Understanding the complex range of factors that influence energy end-use behaviour will be the focus of a new two-year project to be undertaken by the Demand-Side Management Programme (DSM IA).  The aim will be to seek out, examine and define the various challenges with a view to providing a set of clear recommendations to policy makers. Among the list of proposed deliverables is a platform for the continued exchange of knowledge, and a comprehensive database of best practice examples. Dr. Sea Rotmann, project leader, talks further about the challenges and opportunities in this 2-page article. Click DSM article to download. 

3. A new approach to financing renewable technology projects. Making the switch to the large-scale renewable energy systems required to combat climate change will require public and private capital investment on a massive scale.  A new 58-page report from the Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Programme (RETD IA) stresses that new approaches are needed to address this challenge. Strategies to Finance Large-Scale Deployment of Renewable Energy Projects: an Economic Development and Infrastructure Approach, concludes that governments should consider scaling up renewable energy as part of their robust economic development strategy, rather than as an environmental strategy with the secondary benefits of job creation. To access the report click here.  Also among other recent releases from RETD is Business models for renewable energy in the built environment. This 123-page reportaims to provide insight to policy makers and market actors in the way new and innovative business models (and/or policy measures) can stimulate the deployment of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures in the built environment. Download here.

4. Exploiting the full potential of energy efficiency. Accelerating and scaling up private investment in energy efficiency is crucial to exploit the potential of energy efficiency. However many barriers remain to private investment such as access to capital, uncertainty of future energy prices, transaction costs, perceived higher risk, and lack of knowledge. As part of the IEA 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations, the IEA recommends that governments support private investment in energy efficiency. A joint public-private approach can use public finance and regulatory policy to support the scaling up of private investment in energy efficiency.  This latest IEA Policy Pathway publication outlines, through the experiences and lessons learned from country examples, the critical elements to put in place a public-private partnership to finance energy efficiency. It focuses on three mechanisms - dedicated credit lines, risk guarantees, and energy performance service contracts and presents the planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating phases of implementation.  Download here.

5. New IEA-IRENA partnership to strengthen technology and policy co-operation. The two agencies recently signed a partnership agreement which will increase co-operation on technology and innovation including a joint database of renewable energy policies.  The existing IEA database will now be known as the IEA/IRENA Global Renewable Energy Policies and Measures Database and will be improved with additional datasets from IRENA Members and Signatory countries.  Both parties will collect and verify information for the database, which will open to free public access and be updated at least twice a year.   There will also be increased collaboration between the two agencies at the Secretariat level, and in energy technology networks, including the IEA Multilateral Technology Initiatives.  These initiatives, also known as Implementing Agreements, are well-established programmes for pre-commercial international technology co-operation between countries, many of which focus on renewable energy technologies.  Read the press release.

6. New IEA international R&D projects, new participants

  • A redesigned websiteand two new projects from the Hybrid and Electric Vehicles programme (HEV IA):

    Task 19: Life Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicles - will explore the sustainable manufacture and recycling of electric vehicles (EVs).
    Task 20: Quick Charging - will examine impacts and potential standards for EV quick charging.

  • New projects within the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC IA):

    Task 48:  Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling - will focus on systems including any solar thermal cooling technology (no power limitation or solar collector field area) which can be used in heating mode.
    Task 49/IV: Solar Process Heat for Production and Advanced Applications, a joint collaboration with the SolarPACES IA.    

  • New projects from Energy Conservation in Buildings & Community Systems (ECBCS IA):

    Annex 57 - Evaluation of Embodied Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Building Construction.
    Annex 58
    - Reliable Building Energy Performance Characterisation based on full scale dynamic measurements.

  • Energy efficiency in small and medium enterprises is the subject of the new Annex XVI from the Industrial Energy-Related Technologies Systems Implementing Agreement (IETS IA).

  • Union Fenosa Distribucion has become a Contracting party in the Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme on Smart Grids (ISGAN IA).

  • The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) has become a Contracting Party in the Implementing Agreement for Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES IA).

More news...

Integrating wind and hydropower. The final technical reports from Task 24 - Integration of Wind and Hydropower Systems – are now available for download on the Wind IA website. The primary purposes of this Task were to conduct co-operative research concerning the generation, transmission, and economics of integrating wind and hydropower systems, and to provide a forum for information exchange. Volume 1 covers objectives, background, summary results, and conclusions; and Volume 2 examines the methods of study employed and details about the participant case studies upon which the conclusions of the Task were drawn.

Standby Power, an Annex in the Efficient Electrical End-Use Equipment programme (4E IA), has a number of reports, articles and presentations on power factor and low power modes now available for public consultation on the Annex web pages.

Methodology Guidelines on Life Cycle Assessment of Photovoltaic Electricity.  This 20-page technical report from Task 12 of the Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS IA) offers guidance for consistency, balance and quality, to enhance the credibility of the findings from photovoltaic Life Cycle Assessments.  Download here.

IEA fusion experts take the reins of the ITER project.
ITER, the world’s largest experimental fusion facility sited at Cadarache in France, now has three fusion experts from the IEA Energy Technology Network in the highest ranks of the organisation.  Dr. Osama Motojima, former Chair of the Stellarator-Heliotron IA, has been leading the project as ITER Director-General since July 2010; in March 2011 Dr. Richard Hawryluk, United States representative to the Co-ordinated Tokamaks Programme (CTP IA) was appointed Deputy-Director General and Director of the ITER Administration Department; and most recently, Dr. Hideyuki Takatsu, Vice-Chair of the IEA Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee (FPCC), took up his position as Chair of the ITER Council on 1 January 2012.  For more information about the Fusion Implementing Agreements consult the IEA web pages.

Energy Policies of IEA Countries – The Slovak Republic - 2012 Review– The Slovak Republic has achieved impressive results in increasing energy efficiency in recent years but can do more to strengthen its energy security and industrial competitiveness, including further diversifying its energy sources and improving regional integration. Visit the IEA Online Bookshop.

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Upcoming events

• CTI PFAN Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing, Johannesburg, 16 February 2012.  Join clean energy project developers, investors and experts from across Africa.  Access a select pool of mentored projects that qualify for carbon financing; connect one-on-one with selected clean energy entrepreneurs and project developers, and learn more about the market for clean energy financing in Africa.  Visit the conference website.

• 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.  

• 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.

• EURELECTRIC Annual Conference, Malta, 4-5 June 2012. Taking as its theme “Politics vs Industry:  On the Cliff Edge”, this year’s Eurelectric Annual Convention and Congress will take stock of  progress in creating the conditions for both a competitive energy market and carbon-neutral energy supply in Europe by 2050. The event will provide insight on evolving regulatory, financial and economic challenges facing the industry, against the backdrop of clear expectations on the part of customers/the public.  Visit the EURELECTRIC conference site.

• 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.  To discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact Toby Aiken.


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