31 May 2018
Nordic Clean Energy Week: Which Way Towards the Global Low Carbon Economy?
Solar Farm, US. Credit: American Public Power Association
story highlights

Nordic Clean Energy Week, including the ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM 9) and the third Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI 3) convened 22-24 May in Malmö Sweden.

At CEM 9, participants discussed new areas of work, launched initiatives on nuclear energy and power system flexibility, and discussed approaches to enhance public-private collaboration.

MI 3 participants reviewed progress in scaling-up investments in clean energy research and development and international research collaboration and recognized innovation achievements resulting from MI initiatives.

MI and the International Renewable Energy Agency signed an agreement for collaboration in clean energy innovation and deployment.

24 May 2018: The ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM 9) and the third Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI 3) convened from 22-24 May, in Malmö, Sweden, with a focus on advancing the global transition towards a low carbon economy and taking stock of financing and partnerships in clean energy innovation.

Dubbed ‘Nordic Clean Energy Week,’ the meetings were co-hosted by Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the European Commission representing the European Union. Next to the ministerial meetings, Nordic Clean Energy Week included the Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global) and numerous side-events and scientific workshops on the global clean energy transition. [Nordic Clean Energy Week Website] [EE Global Website]

Clean Energy Ministerial Expands Work Programme and Membership, Launches Nuclear Initiative

Attended by energy minsters and heads of delegations from 26 countries and the European Commissioner for Climate Action, CEM 9 convened under the theme, ‘Energy Integration and Transition: towards a competitive and innovative low carbon economy.’ Participants shared lessons learned and best practices in encouraging the transition towards a low carbon and competitive energy economy. They launched eight new areas of work, including clean energy investment and finance, energy efficiency and renewable energy, cleaner electricity generation and climate change mitigation. Delegates also agreed to expand the use of long-term scenarios to inform policy making.

CEM 9 launched eight new areas of work, including clean energy investment and finance, energy efficiency and renewable energy, cleaner electricity generation and climate change mitigation.

The US, Canada and Japan launched an initiative titled, ‘Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future’ (NICE Future), focusing on the role of nuclear energy in clean energy systems. According to the press release, “NICE future will address improved power system integration through innovative, integrated, and advanced energy systems and applications, such as nuclear-renewable systems, combined uses of heat and power, hydrogen production, and industrial decarbonization.”

CEM 9 also launched the Power Systems Flexibility Campaign, which aims to better integrate variable renewable energy supplies, improve the flexibility of power generation systems, and optimize power generation assets. Building on a previous initiative, the ‘Advanced Power Plant Flexibility Campaign (APPFC),’ the Power Systems Flexibility Campaign will expand the scope of activities to include electricity grids, demand-side management and energy storage.

Other CEM 9 news includes:

  • In a series of Public-Private Roundtables, participating Ministers and Heads of delegations met with private sector senior executives to discuss: polices for action and investment towards sustainable buildings; innovative solutions for managing energy use and emissions from industry; corporate sourcing of renewable energy; and results of the APPFC Campaign.
  • On corporate sourcing of renewable energy, one of the issues discussed at CEM 9 and in Public-Private Roundtables, a report launched by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), shows that corporate sourcing is now taking place in 75 countries and has reached a volume of 465 terawatt hours (TWh), equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of France.
  • The Netherlands officially joined CEM, bringing its membership to 26 countries;
  • New Zealand joined the CEM’s Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI). Members of EVI aim to collectively achieve a 30 percent share of electric vehicles in new vehicle sales by 2030. It’s members include Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK, the US and the EU.
  • Canada offered to host CEM 10 and MI 4 in 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.

[CEM Press Release. 24 May 2018. Successful EU-Nordic Hosting of CEM 9] [CEM Press release. 24 May 2018. New areas of work] [CEM Press Release. 24 May. Nuclear Initiative] [CEM Press Release. 24 May 2018. Power System Flexibility Campaign] [CEM 9 Homepage]

Mission Innovation Reviews Progress in Scaling-up Clean Energy Investment

Mission Innovation is a global initiative of 22 countries and the EU launched during the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015. Members have committed to double their governments’ funding for clean energy research and development (CE-R&D) by 2020, while encouraging greater engagement by the private sector. At MI 3, ministers of the participating countries took stock of progress and discussed next steps in enhancing public and private investment and collaboration in CE-R&D. Participants concluded that since 2015 an additional US$4 billion in public funds have been invested in clean energy innovation and almost 40 new international research partnerships have been launched.

Ministers also met with mayors, private sector CEOs and other thought leaders to discuss new partnerships in public-private cooperation in key technology areas. Results included, among others, a declaration on the role of innovation in developing sustainable battery value chains, an agreement to share data on energy performance in buildings, and several national public-private sector initiatives, such as technology incubators.

The meeting also included a ‘Solutions Summit’ to celebrate achievements, including fifty innovative breakthroughs emerging from MI investments and collaborations ranging from blockchain technologies to electric passenger ships.

Minsters welcomed Austria as MI’s 24th member. The meeting closed with adoption of a declaration on the next steps and with ministers urging continued progress and ambition towards accelerating CE-R&D. [CEM 9/MI 3 Press Release. 23 May.]

IRENA and Mission Innovation to Collaborate on Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment

On the sidelines of MI 3, the IRENA and MI signed an agreement to collaborate on sharing data and knowledge to scale up clean energy technology deployment. The letter of intent outlines the two organizations’ commitment to collaborate in the following areas: sharing and improving the quality of data to track progress in renewables and energy system technologies to inform decision makers; support cross-border collaboration in innovation in key technologies, monitoring evolution of technologies and revealing innovation gaps; and sharing data and knowledge on innovation policies and strategies.

Through the collaboration, the organizations aim to support the rapid scale-up of renewable energy technologies required to decarbonize the energy sector by 2050, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In related news, Canada announced its intention to join IRENA, thus “formalizing its long-standing and robust partnership” with the Agency. IRENA is the largest intergovernmental organization promoting renewable energy. Next to Canada, Ukraine, Paraguay, Chad and Brazil have also announced their intention to join the Agency, which will bring its membership to 181 countries. [IRENA Press Release. 24 May 2018. MI Partnership] [IRENA Press Release. 24 May 2018. Canada]

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