Nearly 500 energy-efficiency-industry leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C., May 11 and 12 for the ninth annual Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global).
During the plenary panel, “Doubling Energy Productivity Through Government Leadership,” John Galyen, president, Danfoss North America; Fatih Birol, executive director, International Energy Agency; Kateri Callahan, president, Alliance to Save Energy; Mark Kenber, chief executive officer (CEO), The Climate Group; Rachel Kyte, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All, and Odón de Buen, director-general, National Commission for Energy Efficiency, discussed international efforts to advance energy efficiency and double energy productivity.
“Buildings represent nearly 40 percent of energy consumption and account for about one-third of global greenhouse-gas emissions,” Galyen said, “and, therefore, buildings are vital to achieving our climate and energy goals. To do so, it’s going to require a holistic approach to smart, connected buildings. In the short term, we need to implement progressive policies that encourage the use of available, proven energy-efficiency technologies, low-energy building design, and building renovations that can achieve 25- to 50-percent reductions in energy demand from new and existing buildings. This includes technologies like variable speed, energy recovery, combined heat and power (CHP), and renewables.
“In the long term,” Galyen continued, “the greatest potential for improving energy productivity will come from smart and sustainable cities with connected infrastructure where water, wastewater, heating, cooling, and electricity are integrated into one system.”
Galyen said the U.S. government, as the country’s largest building owner, can lead by example with its own building stock, mandating that tenants and owners disclose building energy use and cost, which would help to increase awareness, put consumers in command of their energy consumption, and encourage energy-efficiency renovation. Galyen provided three examples of Danfoss solutions being used to achieve significant savings:
- The replacement of a 150-ton chiller at a U.S. courthouse with a chiller with variable-speed, magnetic-bearing compressors.
- The installation of variable-frequency drives and the use of CHP at a wastewater facility in Aarhus, Denmark.
- The installation of district heating in Anshan, China.
During one of 16 executive-dialogue sessions, panelists Ralph DiNola, CEO, New Buildings Institute; Ken Smith, president and CEO, District Energy St. Paul; Rob Thornton, president and CEO, International District Energy Association; Jim Freihaut, professor of architectural engineering, The Pennsylvania State University; and Fleming Voetmann, head of public affairs and sustainability, Danfoss, noted there are tremendous savings to be realized through the integrated design of efficient systems. Quoting a report from the United Nations Environment Programme, moderater Mark Menzer, director of public affairs, Danfoss North America, said, “A transition to district energy systems … could contribute as much as 58 percent of the CO2 emissions needed by the energy sector to meet the COP21 pledges.”
During EE Global, Danfoss announced it would join EP100, an initiative of The Climate Group that convenes leading companies that voluntarily commit to doubling energy productivity in their facilities.