Setting Sweden Up for Energy Efficiency

In many of the climate crisis conversations, the focus is on what is often coined as “the green transition”, in other words, migrating our energy dependency off of fossil fuels and onto renewables or other non-fossil fuel based energy sources.

But one frequently “unsung hero” of reaching net zero is energy efficiency - or put more simply - our ability to get more bang for our buck for the energy we currently generate.

This may come across initially as a half-measure, but as studies are continuously showing, and businesses are continuously proving, energy efficiency is at the heart of the battle for our planet and a fundamental part of the longevity of a sustainable energy system. And here’s why.

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Energy Efficiency - The “First Fuel” To Tackle Emissions

The goals of the IEA are ambitious, albeit greatly necessary, and they are dependent on decarbonizing the world energy system, which is currently responsible for 73% of all global emissions.
1/3rd of these emissions, however, are currently caused by inefficiencies in our energy consumption, and can be considered the low-hanging fruit of the emissions reduction game, because the technology and processes to combat them are already being put into place.
In fact, they’ve already been instrumental in keeping our emissions increases to a minimum despite situations like the 2014 consumption boom, where “Energy-related GHG emissions increased by 1.4% to over 32.5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (Gt CO2-eq) in 2017 – the first increase since 2014, after strong global economic growth led to greater use of emissions-intensive fuels.”
And they are projected to continue to be instrumental in keeping emissions down as we move into the future, “delivering over 40% of the abatement required to be in line with the Paris Agreement”.
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Versailles 2023: The 10 Commandments for Energy Efficiency

Armed with this information, Schneider Electric recently partnered in an energy efficiency summit in Versailles, organized alongside none other than the International Energy Agency (IEA) to discuss and illustrate the role of energy efficiency in our net zero goals.
The outcome of which was the Versailles 10x10 Actions, “a set of priorities needed to accelerate our efficiency and decarbonization journey”.

The Versailles 10x10 Actions Summarized:

Convened by “Governments with official delegations [that represented] 70% of global energy consumption”, the transition to energy efficiency and net-zero buildings involves several key factors, including Efficiency & Waste Elimination, AI-driven Optimization, Awareness, Knowledge, and Ownership, as well as several other imperatives which can be summarized as:
A commitment to enhance energy efficiency and achieve net-zero buildings necessitates digital innovation for consumption measurement, AI optimization, and grid integration.
This transition demands awareness dissemination, skill upscaling, and recognition of total ownership costs, with governments showcasing leadership through example. Effective regulation, accelerated grid expansion, and utilization of existing technology are pivotal, enabling the rapid adoption of energy-efficient solutions while driving universal net-zero construction practices across the globe.

A Rapid Transition: Putting these plans into action

One of the most promising aspects of this transition is that it is so ambitious in its directives. Versailles 10x10 aims to do no less than double our global energy efficiency capabilities in just 7 short years by 2030, and has been signed by 45 governments from around the world.
In practice, this would mean, “ramping up annual energy efficiency progress from 2.2% today to over 4% annually by 2030 in a move that would create jobs, expand energy access, reduce energy bills, decrease air pollution, and diminish countries’ reliance on fossil fuel imports – among other social and economic benefits.”
This is particularly vital as governments have a large stake in the control of energy efficiency due to their large portfolio of properties, land, and infrastructure.
Considering that buildings account for roughly 40% of all global emissions, governments must both lead by example by making their own buildings more energy efficient, and bringing policy into play for the private sector to follow suit.
After all, according to even the most recent studies by the IEA on Energy Efficiency, “the greatest short-term energy savings potential is in the buildings and transport sectors, with around 37 EJ and 34 EJ of avoided energy demand by 2030 available, respectively,”.
This graph illustrates how much energy consumption can be avoided through more efficient production and management of different sectors, with Buildings carrying the most potential for reductions.
This graph illustrates how much energy consumption can be avoided through more efficient production and management of different sectors, with Buildings carrying the most potential for reductions.

And this comes with a clear icing on the cake, so to speak, as these improvements in efficiency “are already cost effective and pay for themselves through energy savings, even more so at today’s energy prices” according to the IEA.
In certain cases, as with our partnership with Madison School County District, businesses are already taking the initiative by actively working with stakeholders to enact energy efficiency strategies with long-term commitments in line with Versailles 10x10.
The hope and goal of this initiative is to be reinforced within the year at COP28 in Dubai, where both government and business representatives will be convening to discuss the next phases and current progress of our net zero goals.

Schneider Electric Country President: “The Focus For Sweden”

As a solution provider for energy efficiency with extensive operations in Sweden the Country President for Sweden, Jenny Larsson, lists her top three most vital tenets of Versailles 10x10 for Sweden 1: Measure & Diagnose, 2: Awareness & Knowledge, and 10: Build The New Net Zero - and for good reason. As a point of reference, the ability to digitize our measurement capabilities as it relates to energy efficiency is going to be crucial to reaching net zero. With any role or task, you always get the best results when you have accurate, trackable KPIs that provide you with both a North Star goal and the ability to constantly assess and tweak your own performance. The best part of this is that we have the data-driven solutions readily available to digitize energy consumption and gain the insights needed to make the informed changes needed for greater energy efficiency. Similarly, Awareness & Knowledge are going to be crucial for an expansive transition, or in other words, as a means of ensuring that this is a country-wide movement. Energy efficiency won’t work if the majority of the market doesn’t move with it, and the best way to ensure that this is a majority movement is by spreading awareness on the best practices, new solutions, and expertise on energy efficiency to peers in industry and beyond. And lastly, Building the New Net Zero provides us with a future-thinking approach to our technology and operations. As with our data-driven solutions for tracking and measuring our progress in efficiency, the technology for better energy efficiency already exists, it is simply a matter of implementing it. Commenting on these three core tenets of the wider Versailles 10x10, Jenny Larsson, Country President of Schneider Electric, Sweden had this to say: “Energy efficiency is an effective, and yet underutilized, measure for sustainability. There are many many low-hanging fruit opportunities in this space. It provides renewed opportunities for both end users and companies like Schneider Electric to support a positive transition towards a more sustainable energy use.
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The ability to track, diagnose, and implement efficiency solutions links directly with the Science-based Targets Initiative, because it’s all about putting your business in an informed position to make climate-positive changes. As a leading energy solutions provider, Schneider Electric is in a unique position to help our customers and partners find the “efficiency North Star” and implement the solutions they need to reach it. The technology already exists and as it can potentially reduce as much as 40% of emissions from the energy sector, it’s an exciting opportunity that can’t be passed up on.” What we’re hoping to see now, though, is a government-business partnership in an energy efficiency acceleration and we’re looking forward to continuing to form our own unique partnerships to push the needle in that direction at Schneider Electric. Learn more about what went on at Versailles 10x10 below:

  • Esther Wanjiku

    39 w

    The hope for net zero remains alive

    • Kevin

      39 w

      Net zero is very attainable

      • Munene Mugambi

        39 w

        Energy efficiency can be achieved from out homes through energy saving bulbs and keeping the heat off when not at home. Small actions like this when done by a large number of people makes a huge difference in the power grid

        • Sarah Chabane

          39 w

          This is great! Energy efficiency needs to be prioritised by everyone if we want to reach net zero!

          • Patrick Kiash

            39 w

            Great transition focus. Your 3 core tenets sound great. I love your steps to achieve your goal. Good luck.

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