Despite intense efforts by all parties, the recent United Nations Conference of Parties (COP-15) failed to create a legally binding treaty accepted by all nations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that could help limit the global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees C (or 3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels. It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to achieve the targeted greenhouse gas reduction—35 percent by 2030, as compared with 1990—countries across the world would have to make a substantial financial commitment. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Prayas Energy Group, Itron Consulting, and the Regulatory Assistance Project collaborated to analyze the feasibility of a multi-country effort to accelerate the deployment of super-efficient appliances and equipment by providing financial incentives to manufacturers, in addition to collaboration on labeling super-efficient products and minimum energy performance standards.
Only about 15 manufacturers produce more than 70 percent of the world’s major energy-consuming appliances and equipment, and many of these products are very similar across multiple countries. A large portion of the residential and commercial electricity consumption is made up of only a few appliances and equipment. With this in mind, the authors of this study lay out key benefits and options for multi-country collaboration to accelerate the penetration of super-efficient appliances and equipment. Many of these benefits could lead to a rapid, and much-needed, scale-up to capture the vast, cost-effective energy efficiency potential. The study concludes that the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) program announced by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on December 14 in Copenhagen, which draws its key elements from the analysis presented in the paper, is a step in the right direction and needs to be supported by the energy efficiency community.