Energy Efficiency Visionaries honoured in Washington

Dr. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, Minister for Energy in the Republic of GhanaThe EE Global Forum and Exposition in Washington DC was the setting for the honouring of several champions of energy efficiency from around the world. At the plenary luncheon on May 11th, four awards were given, in front of an audience of 500 stakeholders. The first award went to Dr. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, Minister for Energy in the Republic of Ghana, who promptly credited the people of Ghana for the country’s energy efficiency gains, while noting that international cooperation between the U.S. and Ghana has helped inspire long-term energy efficiency projects, such as exhanging 6 million incandescent bulbs for CFLs “We are grateful,” said Dr. Oteng-Adjei. “We are a small country, and make sure we optimize our limited resources with energy efficiency. We are grateful for the skills and knowledge that will support these projects. We pledge that we will take due course and move straight to that course and never, never look back.”

The Hon. Jimena Bronfman, Vice Minister of Energy in Chile took the prize for Latin America’s best energy efficiency efforts this year.  Her country’s strategy for energy efficiency involved taking a close look at best practices in places such as California and Vermont, said the Vice Minister.Recently, the Chilean government financed several projects, such as thermal retrofitting, to show consumers the benefits of energy efficiency while also educating people about energy savings and demonstrating that a little investment can go a long way.

Award Winners

Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of the Government of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, accepted an award for spearheading the energy efficiency movement in India, where it is helping to improve the quality of life for India’s billion-plus citizens through economic growth.  Dr. Mathur says he and other energy efficiency advocates are optimizing value for money. “We are nudging people towards energy efficiency. We have learned from people all around the world. And our own country has provided support and leadership.“

On behalf of the King of Sweden, the European award winner, H.E. Jonas Hafstrom, ambassador of Sweden to the United States, remarked that energy efficiency fits precisely in the scheme of Sweden’s top priorities, which include addressing climate change.  Moreover, the country’s efforts in the area of sustainable city planning, alternative fuels and smart grid technologies have been to the benefit of Sweden’s economy, which has grown by 54 percent in the process of reducing its energy use. Additionally, Sweden is the leading country in renewable energy, the ambassador noted, with 43 percent of its energy consumption fueled by renewable energy.

The EE Global Exposition is the world’s largest energy efficiency dedicated event. As an endorsing organisation, REEEP was present at the event, and had an information stand highlighting both the Partnership and the reegle website.  Vince Reardon, Communications Consultant to REEEP also moderated the Executive Dialogue Session 4A, which looked at how to tackle the energy efficiency in buildings challenge from both a developed country and emerging market perspective.

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