There is important news from the IEA Demand Side Management Task 24, from Poland about renewable energy support, from important energy efficiency results in India, and concern over poor energy savings results in Ireland.
• News from IEA Demand Side Management Task 24
Task 24 on Behaviour Change in DSM just published a valuable Task 24 case study report  on how to co-design a successful behaviour change programme for building operators in the 2nd largest hospital network in North America. Following this report, Task 24 have a webinar on Dec 21 with Kady Cowan from CHS, Reuven Sussman from ACEEE and Sea Rotmann, Task 24 operating agent. It’s a novel and very successful (up to 30% energy savings in some pilot facilities!) approach that can also be used in other commercial building sectors. Information about the webinar is available here.
• EU regulators okay $11.2 billion Polish renewable energy scheme
Reuters reports that EU state aid regulators approved on Wednesday a 40-billion-zloty ($11.2 billion) Polish scheme to support renewable energy producers, saying it was in line with the bloc’s energy and climate objectives.
Under the scheme, small energy installations with a capacity up to 500 kW (kilowatts) will benefit from a feed-in tariff while those with capacity above that will receive a premium on top of the market price of electricity.
Poland will conduct auctions to select the beneficiaries of the scheme.
The European Commission said the project would encourage the development of different renewable energy technologies in Poland and also help the country meet its 2020 environmental and climate change objectives. For Poland, that is for renewables to make up 15 percent of energy consumption.
• EESL initiatives save 3,700 kWh energy
State-owned Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) today said its initiatives have cumulatively led to energy savings of over 3,700 crore kWh and a reduction of 3 crore tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, singled out the work done by the PSU in the space of Energy Efficiency and called out EESL as a Star Performer, the public sector company said in a statement.
He highlighted that through the concentrated efforts of the government to push energy efficiency, the expansion of LED bulbs and tubelights will have, by mid-2019, save up to 20 GW of electricity capacity, that would otherwise have been generated from coal.
Under the government’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) programme, EESL has distributed over 28 crore LED bulbs, 43.9 crore LED tubelights and 14.3 lakh 5-star energy efficient fans across the country.
Besides, EESL has also retrofitted over 41 lakh street lights, illuminating over 50,000 kilometres of roads under the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), and has undertaken retrofitting drives in over 90 buildings as part of the Buildings Energy Efficiency Programme.
Implementation of these initiatives has resulted in reduction of over 3 crore tonnes of CO2, and therefore saving equivalent of over 2,200 crore tonnes of coal. These savings translate into energy sufficiency to light up close to 70 lakh households in the country, it added.
The EESL aims to propel India towards meeting its growth and development goals, while aligning with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030. KKS BAL
• Ireland’s energy use not decreasing quickly enough, SEAI warns
The Irish Times reports that everyone has a personal responsibility to be more energy efficient because of the inevitable impacts of climate change, according to Jim Gannon, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
Ireland’s energy use was not reducing fast enough, and individuals, businesses and communities were central to addressing the problem, he said at the launch of SEAI’s report Energy in Ireland 1990-2016 which presents data and trends on energy efficiency and renewable energy in Ireland.
Despite energy use growing last year at a slower rate compared with the economy, Ireland was not decoupling economic growth from energy use quickly enough, he added. “Each of us, in our homes and businesses, has a personal responsibility to find ways to be more energy efficient. No one organisation or policy can address the problem of climate change in isolation – it needs urgent action across our society.”
While cars and homes were becoming more efficient, and there was record investment in efficiency policies, these actions on their own “may not get us to where we need to be”.
The right actions to make a difference were realisable, whether it was turning down the thermostat, switching off a light, looking at energy ratings of appliances or choosing an electric car. “Supports are available to help with this and all of us, as homeowners, businesses and motorists need to make better choices and in much greater numbers.”
Energy import dependency in 2016 was 69 per cent, down from 88 per cent on 2015 – reducing the annual energy import bill to €3.4 billion from €4.6 billion. “The significant reduction in our import dependence gives us a more dependable energy supply in the short term. However, this was heavily reliant on Corrib gas, a finite fossil fuel. This may give us a window of opportunity but it’s not a long-term solution.”
A fifth of indigenous energy was from renewables in 2016. “This represents positive growth but there is room for much more activity, and across a broader range of technologies. Generating our own renewable electricity is critical to achieving our overall energy and climate ambitions,” Mr Gannon said.