Page 18 - Respond 2018 Magazine
P. 18


       It should be clear that we cannot continue to look at the   for energy continues to rise at about 3% per year driven
       challenges facing the world in isolation. It may be comforting   by population growth, increased prosperity and mobility.
       to do so, as focusing on a single issue can provide for   Simply doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement
       greater clarity and easier communication. But this approach   would reduce global energy costs by more than $2 trillion by
       has the danger of simply storing up trouble for future   2030, slash the average household energy bill by a third, and
       generations.                                         create more than six million jobs by the end of this decade.

       Our focus on measuring global success through GDP growth   There are two main elements required to double the rate of
       has trapped us in a linear view of society – focused on   energy efficiency improvement. The first is accelerating the
       extracting, consuming and emitting resources from energy   renovation of existing infrastructure in developed countries.
       to water, materials and food. We need to become much   Secondly, there needs to be a focus on helping developing
       smarter, more resource-efficient and change from a linear   countries leapfrog to clean technologies such as solar-LED
       approach to a circular society, in which long term quality of   and combine these with new business models. It is a sad
       life becomes the most important metric. This would ensure   fact that many of the countries which have suffered the
       that while economic competitiveness remains important,   most from climate change have been least responsible for
       our society would have at its core the health and well-being   creating it. It is vital that developing countries do not follow
       of all our citizens.                                 the same destructive phases that the richer nations of the
                                                            world have been through.
       By adding a focus on social equity and inclusiveness, we can
       enter an age where the socio-economic model becomes   When speaking about energy we often talk about individual
       about Sustainalism, building on the foundations laid by   technologies and their potential in their respective silos. In
       capitalism and socialism, but taking the broader view which   reality we must pursue them all. Energy efficiency, renewable
       the challenges of today and tomorrow demand of us.   energy and carbon engineering are all needed. Only by
                                                            enacting all of them in unison will we be able to achieve the
       That broader view of Sustainalism will take us       ultimate goal of carbon neutrality in the coming 40 to 50
                                                            years. The International Energy Agency projects that energy
                                                            efficiency needs to do over half of this job. One could say that
        From                     To                         by combining energy efficiency and renewable energy we can
                                                            decarbonize society twice as fast and twice as cost-effectively.
        More is better           Better is best
                                                            The fact is that many of the technologies we need already
        Lowest initial cost      Least lifecycle cost       exists, all that’s required is to take a longer-term view, and
                                                            use it.
        Open product chains      Closed systems / cycles
                                                            LED lighting is a perfect example. LED street lighting uses
        Invoicing products /     Leasing / financing        at least 40% less energy than conventional lighting and has
        hardware                                            been around for years, and yet we still cling to outdated
                                                            and inefficient technology. Globally, lighting accounts for
        Product focus            Service focus
                                                            about 15% of all electricity consumption. We project this will
                                                            decline to 8% in 2030 while over the same period the global
        GDP metrics              Quality of life metrics    tally of light points will have increased by 50% to 70 billion.
                                                            Simply adopting LED in place of incandescent lighting would
       No-one is unaware of the need for our products and   reduce energy consumption by a massive 53% and CO2
       processes to become more energy efficient and yet, often   emissions by 1,400 million tonnes.
       due to a focus on the short term, there remains a reluctance
       to make the transitions required.                    Moreover, innovation brings benefits beyond energy
                                                            efficiency. Looking at lighting specifically, around one in
       To arrive at a carbon neutral world by 2050, we need to   seven of the world’s population (some 1.1 billion people) are
       drive overall energy efficiency improvements of at least 3%   trapped in light poverty because – cut off from the grid – they
       per year. “We” – industry, transport, public infrastructure,   have no access to electric light. As a result, they are forced to
       homes – must at least double the rate of energy efficiency   use alternatives such as kerosene lamps and candles to light
       improvement, primarily by accelerating infrastructure   their homes – which claim an estimated 1.5 million lives every
       renovation to around 3% per year. In parallel with this we   year through respiratory illnesses and fires.
       also need to be moving to clean energy sources at a rate
       that also equates to 3% of our energy mix per year.  But off-grid solar LED lighting solutions can help to end this
                                                            injustice, at a fraction of the long-term cost of kerosene or
       Critically, the current rate of energy efficiency improvement   typical infrastructure, while stimulating social and economic
       hovers at around 1.5% per year. At the same time, demand   development as communities are brought out of the dark.
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