“Climate REDI” (renewable energy development initiative) is a new program that was annoced today at a presentation by the US Department of Energy. The main speaker was US secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Prior to his presentation, the partner countries in this new intitive, ministers from India and Italy, as well as a representative from Australia said a few words on the initiative and the partnerships.
It was obvious that the point of Chu’s presentation is to show that the United States is serious about changing out direction or energy use, but as one question from the public pointed out, it does not seem that the US targets on reducing our energy consumption are very ambitious. While this may be true, the initiative does include expensive and expansive programs to address current and future developments in clean and renewable resource development.
The emphasis for new technologies within the US and in developing countries that Chu presented were efficient batteries, wind turbines, solar power, LED lighting, smart grids, and energy efficient appliances.
While I didn’t hear much of the programs goals in other countries from Chu, the representative from Australia did say that a priority of Climate REDI is fast-tracking renewable resource technologies in developing countries. Chu touched on the battery and LED power for lighting in developing nations, but nothing else specifically.
So what is the $80 billion down payment in the recovery act for a clean energy economy and the $85 million over the next 5 years for the Climate REDI initiative going? He talked a few minutes on wind power, saying that the US has invested in blade testing in order to create the next generation of compact wind turbines. Also, the funds to revolutionize the way buildings are designed and retrofitted, using an example of creating embedded tools in architecture design programs that would show energy efficiency to buildings architectures and designers. They are also working on applications for smart phones in which consumers would be able to visually see their energy usage and help them make energy efficient changes.
In the question and answer part, Chu was asked about the connection between the program and transportation and how this will be designed with smart grids. Chu said the government has been and will continue to push to increase fuel efficiency standards, develop batteries, and other renewable resources to reduce CO2 emissions, and also work on using biofuels.
He concluded the presentation by stating that there needs to be a shift in thinking by Americans, leaving fossil fuel consumption, and going to a “hi-tech sustainable energy” economy.
I looked for the specific point of the program on both the Energy Department’s website, and their specific site for COP15, but there was no information obviously posted, so I might come back later and let you know what the specific of the program are.
found the department of energy’s press release.
Secretary Chu today announced the launch of a new Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI). The program will accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fighting energy poverty and improving public health for the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.
Climate REDI includes three new clean energy technology programs and funding needed to launch a renewable energy program under the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund…
Climate REDI is a “quick-start” initiative to complement the much broader technology and finance mechanisms of an international climate agreement. It will promote dissemination of clean energy technologies…
The combined budget for these programs is $350 million over five years. Funding for the first three programs above will total $100 million — $35 million that the United States intends to contribute, with the balance from Italy, Australia and other partners. Funding for the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program will total $250 million – $50 million that the United States intends to contribute and $200 million that the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland pledged previously…
I am only a few hours away from arriving in Copenhagen, sitting in the terminal waiting to get on the plane, I am reminded of a news article I read a few days ago about “green” operations that have been set in place for the conference. The organizers are using several sustainable practices and environmentally friendly services/products in order to offset the COP’s overall carbon footprint. The article relayed that the largest contributor to the footprint will be the emissions coming from all the attendee’s plane travel to Denmark.
Some of the sustainable actions Copenhagen and the Bella Conference center have taken are:
- A gigantic wind turbine that provides power. 29.6 % of Denmark’s electricity comes from renewable energy, 20.1 % from wind turbines.
- Waste management, including paper, plastic, metal, wood, and glass recycling. Organic waste, including bioplast cups will be made into biogas. Also, all remaining waste will be burned and transformed into energy which supplies electricity and heating to households there.
- Free water, no bottled water but a lot of glassware and all the disposable materials like plastic glasses and coffee cups are made of organic biodegradable material, which can be placed in the biodegradable waste baskets that is made into biogas.
- Laptops chosen for the energy saving over conventional PCs and consume less energy than a normal laptop of the same size.
- The paper being used is eco-certified.
- the pens the center is offering are produced from 89% recycled plastic from water bottles.
- The notepads being provided are 100% recycled paper and “Process Chlorine Free”.
- The food sold is a minimum of 65% organic food and beverages include fair-trade products such as coffee and tea.
Its the first day of the conference, and as I have not posted the entry from a few days ago due to awful internet connections in the airport and hostel, I decided to add some other notes on what was said during the opening ceremonies (most of which can also be found on cop15.dk, which i realized after the fact)
While we were waiting for the opening ceremony to start (about 40 minutes late) a lady sitting beside us started talking about the sustainability of the COP. She works for COP or the center, she was a scientist but her job here is to let people know about how we can follow along with the sustainable practices here.
In the prime minister or Denmark’s opening speech, he noted that the COP is not having bottled water and that the COP has tried hard to reduce its’ carbon footprint. He said that these measures are serving as inspiration to the attendees to follow the “green” examples.
The Mayor of Copenhagen in her opening speech noted that Copenhagen has a goal of being the 1st carbon neutral city by 2025. Also saying that Copenhagen has several sustainable practices already in place, including how they heat their households with renewable resources, most of the city bikes (they are everywhere), and the harbor is clean enough to swim in.
Just being here for 2 days, I can already tell what contributed to the COP deciding to have this city host the conference, the people here live a highly “green” lifestyle which is easy to do when the city has implemented the practices into their daily life. Copenhagen will certainly serve as an realistic example for the rest of the world to follow, and it seems like it might have been chosen because it can provide inspiration to the decision-makers to come to concrete decisions by the end of these two weeks.