World?s first Clean Energy Ministerial launched to accelerate transition

While the proposed US climate change bill designed to cap carbon emissions has now floundered before reluctant politicians in the Senate, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the nation is helping launch 11 international clean energy initiatives, including one dealing with wind power.

At the world’s first Clean Energy Ministerial, attended by 24 countries representing more than 80% of global energy consumption and a similar percentage of the global market for clean energy technologies, policy makers were told last week in Washington that the initiatives would eliminate the need to build more than 500 mid-sized fossil fuel power plants world-wide in the next 20 years.

“The initiatives would eliminate the need to build more than 500 mid-sized fossil fuel power plants world-wide in the next 20 years.”

“The Clean Energy Ministerial has brought together leaders from around the world to take unprecedented actions to deploy clean energy technologies — from energy efficiency to renewable energy to smart grids to carbon capture,” Chu said in a press release. “These steps will promote economic growth, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

One of the initiatives, according to the press release, dealt with the establishment of the Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group, which is to support the growing international market for wind energy and solar technologies through a Global Solar and Wind Atlas and a long-term strategy to lower the costs of providing solar and wind energy around the world, thereby reducing emissions, creating jobs and promoting energy security.

“The Global Solar and Wind Atlas will ensure that analysts and policymakers have comprehensive and accurate data when making investment decisions. The project will combine and expand existing databases on wind and solar potential and social and economic conditions into one open web portal that will allow access to user-tailored data,” the release noted.

“A Long-Term Strategy on Joint Capacity Building will help train the global clean energy workforce of the future by providing a range of international training opportunities along the whole value chain of solar and wind turbines technologies, from basic working skills to academic education.”

The release added other initiatives will cut energy waste; help deploy smart grid, electric vehicles, and carbon capture technologies; expand access to clean energy resources and jobs; and support women pursuing careers in clean energy.

“What we’ve seen here is that working together, we can accomplish more, faster, than working alone,” Chu said.

What do you think about the first Clean Energy Ministerial which occurred as US senators were deciding to abandon the proposed energy and climate change bill? Join in the discussion by commenting below.

 By Chris Rose,