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International Low-carbon Energy Technology Platform Stampa E-mail

by Alicia Mignone*

*Italian Department of Public Administration and Technological Innovation Vice Chair
IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology



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L’iniziativa di realizzare una Low Carbon Energy Technology Platform è stata ufficialmente proposta durante la presidenza italiana del G8, nel 2009,
e successivamente approvata nell’ottobre dello
stesso anno, durante il Ministerial meeting della IEA.
La ragione che ha spinto i leader politici a proporre l’idea di una Piattaforma può essere riassunta
in un semplice concetto: in un contesto globale
di aumento della domanda di energia, di spinta
verso uno sviluppo sostenibile, di energy security,
la transizione verso un’economia a basso contenuto
di carbonio non può essere concepita a livello
individuale o perseguita attraverso azioni isolate,
non in grado di supportare un’evoluzione che deve effettivamente essere su larga scala e il più rapida possibile. Lo scopo principale della International
Low Carbon Technology Platform
è quello
di accelerare lo sviluppo, il radicamento,
la disseminazione delle tecnologie clean energy.

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INTODUCTION
The initiative for constituting a Low Carbon Energy Technology Platform was launched during the Italian Presidency of the G8 in 2009 and subsequently endorsed by the October 2009 Ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency.
The rationale that moved the political leaders to propose the idea of creating a Platform can be summarized by saying that, in a global context of increasing energy demand and concerns on energy security and environmental sustainability, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is such that individual and isolated actions will not enable the rapid and large-scale evolution required.
The International Low Carbon Technology Platform’s central aim is to accelerate and scale-up actions for the development, deployment and dissemination of clean energy technologies. The G8 and the Ministers of IEA Member countries asked the IEA Secretariat to take forward proposals for better defining focus, objectives and deliverables for the Technology Platform.
During 2010, a broad multi-stakeholder interactive process led by the IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology, CERT and an appointed Steering Committee, was conducted aimed at shaping the concept and proposing a work program for the Platform. The consultation process focused on how the Platform might add value to the existing landscape of international energy technology initiatives, how it might take practical steps to address the needs of countries in their transition to clean energy systems and how it could enhance collaboration among stakeholders to strengthen international action.

As a result of the consultation process, two documents were elaborated describing the proposal more in detail and outlining a work program for 2011. These documents were presented to the High Level Meeting (HLM) held in Paris, in October 15th 2010. The HLM, co-chaired by two IEA countries, Japan and Italy, and two non member countries, Russia and Brazil, was attended by more than seventy representatives from countries, international organizations (UNIDO, UNEP), the private sector and civil society. The HLM can be considered as the official successful launch of the Platform objectives and program of work and the political endorsement to go forward.


THE TECH PLATFORM
The Tech Platform aims at creating a forum that will:
Bring together stakeholders to catalyze partnerships and activities to enhance the development and implementation of Low-carbon energy technology strategies and technology roadmaps at global, regional and national levels;
Share experiences on best-practice technologies and policies and building expertise and capacity for technology transition planning for more efficient and effective technology dissemination;
Review progress on Low-carbon energy technology deployment to help identify key gaps in Low-carbon energy policy and international cooperation and support efforts to address these through relevant international and regional fora.

The overall development of the Technology Platform will take place in phases to reach the objectives described above. During Phase 1, the Platform will support a series of regional workshops from November 2010-November 2011, and establish the Platform experts groups and partners. Phase 2 will see the development of the webpage and content base, incorporating outputs and lessons learned from Phase 1 from mid 2011 to mid 2012. Phase 3 will launch the longer term and formalized operations of the Platform, from 2011 and beyond.
The timing of phases may overlap as progress evolves in parallel to ensure the rapid establishment of a fully functional Platform. The Diagram 1 outlines a step by step approach to help advance technology collaboration. Regional workshops in Phase 1 and more in general Platform events must be hosted by interested country-countries and or organizations, including private sector, financial sector, international organizations, based on their area of interest or need.

They must go beyond simple bilateral technology events and are not intended to be one-off events but rather to identify specific areas where longerterm collaborative activities can be taken forward. The topics and goals should be defined by the hosts and potential partners and could aim at the development of low-carbon strategies, technology roadmaps or exchanges of best practices, with the opportunity to leverage IEA’s analytical work, expertise and networks, as well as of those involved in the platform.


TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM OVERVIEW AND STRUCTURE
The diagram below provides an overview of how the three main actions should advance partly in parallel and partly in sequence as interests emerge and activities are being proposed. Through the implementation of these activities, the Platform aims to engage a broad range of stakeholders to enhance the technology deployment process. It should lead to the creation of a network of networks among regions to strengthen the development and deployment of technologies more rapidly than if these activities would happen in isolation.


The Platform is open to all stakeholders that decide to engage, on an equal basis, to help accelerate the spread of low-carbon energy technologies. It must remain dynamic and light in its structure, avoiding to create additional international bureaucracy.
A Steering Committee will provide operational guidance with representation from countries, the private sector, international/ intergovernmental organizations, academia and NGO. It could build on the Steering Committee that has guided the work to date.
Every two years, a High Level Meeting will be held to evaluate activities, discuss outputs and prioritize areas of international collaboration.


THE PROGRAM OF WORK 2010-2011
The program of work for 2010-2011 foresees a series of pilot activities that have been presented at the High Level Meeting and focuses on building the Technology Platform and delivering tangible outcomes. The active engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation is the key to its success.

Regional Workshops

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R20, AN INDEPENDENT COALITION

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R20 is an independent coalition of states, provinces and other partners that will serve as a catalyst for building a green economy throughout the world.
Sub-national governments are ready to demonstrate that they have the capacity and willingness to tackle climate change.
Inspired by Governor Schwarzenegger, R20
was announced as a concept at COP 15 with some leading Governors and Heads of Regions from industrialized, emerging and developing countries.

Through the development of green projects, R20
will drive a clean, green economy and serve as
an example to the world how green policies can
spur economic development. A first R20 pilot is
being tested with success in Delta State with UNDP, IEA, International Commerce Chamber and General Electric.

The R20 coalition is an extension of the Global
Climate Solutions Declarations signed at Governor Schwarzenegger’s Governors’ Global Climate
Summit 2 in October 2009 in Los Angeles. Up to now the Declaration has been signed by 58 regions of different parts of the world.

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Singapore, 2-3 November 2010: Clean Energy technologies’ Symposium organized jointly by the IEA and the Government. High interest in developing Singapore as a potential hub of the Platform in South-East Asia.
Brazil, 23-24 November 2010: Sustainable Hydropower regional workshop aimed to share experiences, methodologies and to start the development of an international hydropower roadmap. In particular, the workshop will exchange information with the multilateral development banks about increased investment in hydropower projects.
Russia, 2nd quarter 2011: De-carbonizing the power sector - Bioenergy. Russia will host two workshops, one in April 2011 on options for enhanced efficiency and de-carbonization of power generation and the second, in June 2011, focused on advanced biomass technologies for energy use.

International collaboration activities
Financing low-carbon technology deployment: the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative has expressed interest in engaging the financial community through the Platform to help overcome financial barriers to low carbon technology investment and explore innovative project financing models.
North African and Mediterranean solar deployment: Italy, France and the IEA Renewable Energy Division have expressed interest in working to enable policy environments to support solar deployment in the Mediterranean and North African regions. The sub-national organization R20 (see box) has expressed interest in working in the region, in particular in Oriental Morocco.
Regional renewable technology development with the Asian Development Bank (ADB): the IEA and the ADB have been discussing various activities to implement technology roadmaps and to support low-carbon technology deployment throughout Asia.

Other relevant linkages are foreseen, e.g. with the Clean Energy Ministerial Initiatives, with the Technology Mechanism under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.


THE WAY FORWARD
There are still some open issues after the successful endorsement of the Technology Platform during the High Level Meeting held in Paris, on 15 October 2010, that concerns the governance structure, the partnerships, the role of the IEA and the resource implication. The IEA Governing Board will discuss at December 2010 meeting, a proposal elaborated by the Secretariat that presents some options to tackle these issues and to allow implementation of the Technology Platform to be intensified.

 
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