International Collaboration to Help Achieve Real Energy Efficiency, Enable Global Trade


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Close to 1,200 global technology leaders and experts have come together in Minsk, Belarus for a week-long meeting to focus on practical solutions to enable real Energy Efficiency improvements and to allow more countries, including developing countries to participate in global trade. These experts are participating in the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 79th General Meeting which is organized by the IEC National Committee of Belarus and Bellis, which hosts the secretariat, as well as the State Standardization Committee of the Republic of Belarus (BELST).  

Energy demand is steadily increasing: by 2040 developing countries alone will use double the electricity developed countries use today (source: OECD).  Globally, energy generation is slower than demand. To satisfy the growing need for sustainable energy by developed and developing economies, electric power will need to be used smarter to do more, in better ways, with less. Energy efficiency is one of the low-hanging fruits in helping to address the challenge of providing enough energy for all. 

“Regulation and programmes that measure the energy efficiency of devices are important,” says IEC General Secretary Frans Vreeswijk, “but by themselves they have absolutely no impact on actual energy consumption. To achieve real energy efficiency, practical solutions are needed that make a tangible difference on the ground. Mechanisms that help improve efficiency need to be directly built into devices and systems. Technologies that reduce energy consumption need to be given preference to significantly impact outcomes. IEC work enables exactly that.” 

The IEC President Dr Junji Nomura underlines: “Energy Efficiency needs to be looked at in a systems approach. If one only improves the Energy Efficiency of a single apartment or office in a building, savings are likely to remain insignificant. Only when the whole building is rethought in terms of efficiency, will this change the broader picture.”

Stakeholders from every industrialized and most developed countries in the world actively support the IEC; some since its inception in 1906. By participating in IEC work, companies find it easier to innovate and spread energy efficient technologies globally. They are also better able to collaborate on increasingly complex systems with companies both in their country and outside. With 166 countries the IEC has truly global reach.  Belarus and other countries that participate in the IEC use IEC International Standards as a strategic tool to grow their exports.  This approach helps them overcome hurdles to global trade, allowing companies to sell products to a large number of markets.

The IEC General Meeting in Minsk was opened by the Prime-Minister of Belarus, Mr Andrey Kobyakov. In his opening address he underlined: “Belarus pursues strategic goals to increase the competitiveness and innovation power of the country and make more rational use of its resources. Participation in the IEC allows Belarus to reduce cost and simplifies participation in global trade.” Belarus has been a full Member of the IEC since 1993 and is participating actively in standardization and conformity assessment work with a view to of developing high-quality industrial products and stimulate the country’s ability to export globally. Kobyakov further said: “This is the first time that Belarus has been hosting a global event of this scale… it is symbolic and can contribute to Belarus’ image as a country with investment opportunities and innovation power.” 

Says Vreeswijk: “Many Belarus companies already participate actively in the IEC but now more SMEs would benefit to join the ranks and influence International Standards to make IEC Standards even more relevant for Belarus industries.”

According to Dr Junji Nomura, IEC President, “Participation in IEC work, not only increases the flexibility and corporate efficiency of international companies, it also facilitates technology innovation and helps build bigger markets, faster for many small companies. This in turn helps build national economies.”

About The 79th IEC General Meeting

The 79th IEC General Meeting is held from 12-16 October 2015 at different venues in Minsk. The official opening ceremony took place in the complex of the Palace of Independence, led by the the Prime-Minister of Belarus, Mr Andrey Kobyakov, the IEC President, Dr Junji Nomura, and the President of the Belarus National Committee of the IEC, Mr Victor Nazarenko.

Several workshops address practical topics to increase energy efficiency and overcome technical barriers to international trade:                                                                         

  • Tuesday, 13 October:  Regional and national adoption of IEC International Standards
  • Wednesday, 14 October:  Energy efficiency in industry. New technologies, requirements and approaches
  • Thursday, 15 October:  IEC Conformity Assessment System as the most effective tool to overcome the technical barriers to international trade
  • On Friday afternoon, 16 October, in a session open to the public, industry leaders and experts will present concrete examples of how to achieve real energy efficiency improvements: Energy efficiency; from theory to reality with IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment.

About the IEC

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) brings together 166 countries, representing 98% of the world population and 96% of world energy generation. Close to 15 000 experts cooperate on the global, neutral and independent IEC platform to ensure that products work everywhere safely with each other. The IEC is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for the whole energy chain, including all electrical, electronic and related technologies, devices and systems. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and energy generation conform to them.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, Smart Grid & Smart Cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment. 

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