International Energy Efficiency ‘Visionaries’ from Four Continents to Be Honored May 11 at EE Global Forum
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2010 – Highlighting the international scope of its May 10-12 Energy Efficiency Global Forum & Exposition and the importance of energy efficiency worldwide, the Alliance to Save Energy will honor energy efficiency “visionaries” from four continents – Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – during the conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The award winners, selected by the EE Global International Steering Committee (ISC), are Hon. Jimena Bronfman, Chile’s vice minister of energy, on behalf of her nation’s Programa Pais de Eficiencia Energetica (PPEE); His Excellency Jonas Hafström, Swedish ambassador to the United States, on behalf of the Kingdom of Sweden; Dr. Ajay Mathur, director general of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE); and Dr. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, minister for energy, Republic of Ghana.
The combined awards luncheon and conference plenary session, which is sponsored by Siemens Building Technologies, takes place May 11 from 12:30-2 pm. In addition to the awardees, speakers include Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), an Alliance honorary vice-chair, and Siemens Senior Vice President & Global Head, Efficiency and Sustainability, Robert Dixon, the Alliance’s first vice-chair.
“The EE Global Plenary Awards Luncheon is designed to celebrate and showcase the ‘best of the best’ practices in energy efficiency and the visionary policy makers standing behind those successes,” noted Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “We are pleased to recognize Vice Minister Bronfman, Ambassador Hafström, Director General Mathur and Minister Oteng-Adjei for their outstanding contributions to the global advancement of energy efficiency – a key mission of the Alliance to Save Energy.”
It is said that PPEE has taken Chile from "0 to 60" in energy efficiency in the past three years. PPEE led conservation efforts during Chile’s 2008 energy crisis (due to drought) with an intense public information campaign and distribution of tens of thousands of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) into a largely untapped market. As a result, electricity use remained flat in 2008, even as the economy grew by 3.2 percent. By contrast, as recently as 2005, growth in electricity use in Chile had typically exceeded GDP growth.
PPEE’s energy efficiency achievements also include the establishment of an energy efficiency information labelling program; South America's first residential energy efficiency building code; the development of a National Strategy for Energy Efficiency; and the development of an autonomous energy efficiency agency to guide implementation.
Vice Minister Bronfman, appointed to her energy post in March 2010, is an experienced lawyer, arbitrator and professor with expertise in energy and natural resources. A partner in a Chilean law firm for 16 years, she is a member of the Chilean Bar Association, the Chilean American Chamber of Commerce, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).
“It is an honor to receive the EE Visionary Award,” Vice Minister Bronfman said. “This constitutes an important recognition of Chile’s achievements in increasing energy efficiency, a key element in our long-term strategy for a better use of our energy resources. We estimate that energy efficiency could cover up to 20 percent of the country’s increase in demand by 2020.”
BEE Director General Mathur, also a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, has been instrumental in driving India’s market transformation towards energy efficiency. His work includes India’s standards and labeling program for equipment and appliances, its energy conservation building code and programs for industrial energy efficiency and demand-side management in the buildings, lighting, and municipal sectors.
Prior to joining BEE, Dr. Mathur, who was educated as a chemical engineer, worked on energy research, financing and implementation; headed the World Bank’s Climate Change Team in Washington, D.C., and the Energy Engineering Division of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) in New Delhi; and was president of Suzlon Energy Limited. He is the coauthor of three books and lead author of several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to have been chosen as a recipient of the Alliance award,” said Dr. Mathur. “This for me is recognition of India’s efforts to manage its energy intensity at a stage when energy use is likely to grow many times over. We continue to analyze energy consumption trends and to deploy lessons from best practices to develop a public policy framework that ensures energy efficiency. Through consultations and collaboration with all stakeholders, we aim to rationalize energy consumption at every stage of the growth curve.”
Faced with a severe electricity shortage in 2007 due to low rainfall accumulation upstream from the Akosombo Dam, the Republic of Ghana decided to encourage widespread replacement of incandescent light bulbs with CFLs to reduce electricity demand. The government imported six million CFLs for a public exchange program which included disposal of the incandescent bulbs. In addition, the government replaced fluorescent lamps at security agencies with more energy-efficient T5 fluorescent lamps.
The program was preceded by an extensive public education campaign on the program's rationale, procedures and the need to make a permanent switch to CFLs. As a result, peak energy demand went down by an estimated 120 megawatts in the first quarter of 2008.
As Ghana’s director of power for the Ministry of Energy from 1991 to 2009, Dr. Oteng-Adjei, who holds degrees in engineering, power systems and business, implemented the most successful national electrification program in Africa. In February 2009, he was appointed minister for energy. His accomplishments include development of electricity market rules and regulations for the promotion of energy efficiency. Dr. Oteng-Adjei has authored 15 publications on energy and has been a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electrical Engineers (USA) since 1987. In 2009 he chaired the Committee of Ministers of the West African Gas Pipeline Project. His prior professional experience included teaching at the university level and working as a planning engineer.
“This award did not come to me or to Ghana because of my singular effort but through the collective efforts of many players in Ghana and in other parts of the world, including the United States,” said Dr. Oteng-Adjei. “The purchase and free distribution of six million energy-saving bulbs in exchange for incandescent lamps in 2007 was a major turning point for Ghana’s energy efficiency drive. The US$15.2 million used for lamp purchase, distribution and public education may seem high; however it was a worthy investment, as we realized a reduction in maximum demand by 124 megawatts and energy cost savings in excess of US$33 million per annum. And the penetration of energy-saving lamps has grown from 20 percent in 2007 to 79 percent in September 2009. The use of incandescent lamps, on the other hand, has reduced from 58 percent in 2007 to less than 3 percent in 2009.”
The Alliance’s visionary award recognizes the Kingdom of Sweden as one of the world’s leading nations on energy efficiency, as Sweden strives to be the first oil-free economy. The award also honors King Gustav’s key contributions in advancing efficiency, clean technology and alternative energy resources and the kingdom’s investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which stand as models for nations the world over. King Gustav also is known for his “green diplomacy” efforts during Sweden’s EU presidency, which include putting a priority on policies to address energy and climate change.
His Excellency Jonas Hafström, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States since September 2007, previously served as ambassador of Sweden to the Kingdom of Thailand, Lao PDR, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Union of Burma/Myanmar. His diplomatic career began in 1979 as press secretary to the minister of justice. He also served as first secretary in Teheran and Washington before becoming the head of section in Stockholm. Ambassador Hafström worked for many years for then-Prime Minister Carl Bildt, including his position as the foreign policy advisor, and deputy director-general for the Department for Consular Affairs and Civil Law.
Ambassador Hafström commented, “This award can be seen as an acknowledgement of the work which Sweden has done in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change. While we are grateful for this recognition, our work is not finished yet, as our vision is for Sweden to have a sustainable and resource-efficient energy supply by 2050 with no net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."