The same tracks were followed for the final set of the EE Global Executive Dialogue sessions during the second day — Government Leadership, the Built Environment, Market Transformation and Investment and Finance. Below are summaries of each session:
Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy moderated this panel that discussed the economic impacts of doubling energy productivity. Kateri was joined by a distinguished and lively panel of speakers who each gave their perspective on energy efficiency policies in their respective countries. Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Director of Energy Efficiency at the Climateworks Foundation, emphasized the term “energy productivity” is a means of strengthening, amplifying and re-framing energy efficiency as an idea that governments and businesses can better utilize.
The final session on the built environment highlighted the importance of developing new tools and approaches to analyzing whole building efficiency. Current standards offer a baseline for building efficiency, however, panelists discussed the need for industry to focus on creating measurements that concretely demonstrate the value of building efficiency. By developing a unifying measurement, the industry could attract increased market investment. One of the panelists affirmed that by setting ambitious goals, taking advantage of smart grids and technologies and focusing on whole systems we can increase overall building efficiency. Although there are some challenges to creating whole building efficiency, panelists seemed optimistic about current and future opportunities.
Investment and Finance
The final investment and finance session was focused on the topic of green bonds, and whether the green bond market might be the mechanism to provide energy efficiency funding at scale. Panelists from World Bank, Hannon Armstrong and more were in agreement that green bonds provide value to the market, even while still representing a small percentage of funds. Speaker Laura Tlaiye noted that green bonds have attracted funders to World Bank who might not otherwise consider investing. Overall, panelists agreed about the need to quantify green bonds and establish criteria for the term ‘green’.
Panelists from around the globe, representing government and manufacturers alike, discussed the changing face of the manufacturing sector around the world and what technologies, policies and market factors are driving that change. The panel also discussed the notion of the “internet of things,” touching on the importance of IT interoperability in the manufacturing sector, and how to squeeze out more energy productivity through sensors and controls in order to optimize the production process.
Audience members were interested in hearing panelists’ ideas as to why we’re seeing reshoring of business in the states. Panelists agreed that energy cost is the biggest factor in driving business back to the U.S. — the cost of manual labor in a factory is actually much less than the cost of energy use. Finally, panelists discussed the importance of R&D and advancing not only game changing technologies, but technologies that are affordable and scalable. Ultimately, if a technology is neither of those things, it’s not worth the investment.