by Kateri Callahan
President, Alliance to Save Energy
As President Barack Obama said in his most recent State of the Union Address, “The easiest way to save money is to waste less energy.” Energy efficiency makes that statement a powerful reality, and the best place to connect with the top energy efficiency thought leaders and visionaries from around the world is at EE Global, where they will share their insights, successes and cutting-edge projects.
EE Global 2012 takes place at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, FL, from March 27 – 29. It is co-hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy and its affiliated Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.
This will be the fifth EE Global and the first to be held in the southeastern region of the U.S., one that holds great potential for increased energy efficiency. At past conferences — two in Washington and two in Europe — over 70% of attendees identified themselves as director-level or above, and they have hailed from as many as five continents and dozens of countries — making EE Global the most concentrated worldwide gathering of influential energy efficiency professionals.
Powerful Plenary Speakers
During EE Global’s opening plenary session, the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck, Siemens Building Technologies CEO Andreas Schierenbeck, and Whirlpool Corporation’s Executive Vice President of Global Product Organization Dave Szczupak will share the future of energy efficiency in the public and private sectors and the technology advancements that are benefiting the bottom lines of facilities and companies all over the world.
The World Bank’s Department of Sustainable Energy Director, S. Vijay Iyer, will join the State Department’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources, Carlos Pascual, during our day two plenary session moderated by former CNN anchor Ann Quon, now at the Asian Development Bank.
Engaging Executive Dialogue Sessions
The EE Global 2012 plenaries will be complemented by 20 robust Executive Dialogue sessions offering perspectives from all over the globe in one room for an in-depth discussion on the most relevant topics in energy efficiency today. The concurrent sessions are designed to engage attendees though four tracks: Policy, Innovation, Implementation, and Integration. Participants will learn how to implement best practices, integrate and collaborate among sectors, innovate using existing infrastructure, and develop the effective policies that are needed to drive it all forward.
Each of the sessions aims to tackle a relevant topic for energy professionals and to highlight the latest trends and the proven best practices that can easily be replicated in cities across the globe. Sessions will touch on everything from emerging trends enabling efficient homes to how Fortune 500 companies are influencing market adoption of energy efficiency through supply chain initiatives. New topics like the military’s role in the fight for a more energy-efficient world and the benefits of municipal water efficiency will be featured.
As with the previous four EE Global forums, these sessions will feature high-level speakers from all disciplines and sectors. Afterwards, the intimate setting allows for robust discussion and, hopefully, concrete action items.
The Executive Dialogue sessions, and the larger networking opportunities EE Global provides, allow best practices to be highlighted, shared, and duplicated worldwide.
Energy Efficiency Leaders To Be Honored
EE Global 2012 will also honor energy efficiency leaders whose work is already making a difference in cutting energy consumption, saving money, and setting an example for other communities across the world. The EE Visionary Awards are bestowed on recipients from different regions of the world — the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe — in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency. Winners are selected by the 50+ member EE Global International Steering Committee (ISC), chaired by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Schneider Electric U.S. President Jeff Drees.
This year’s European winner is the city of Tuebingen, Germany. While the city’s population grew by 5.3% between 2004 and 2009, the absolute energy consumption decreased by 7%, with the per capita consumption decreasing by 12%. Spearheading much of the effort is Green Party Lord Mayor Boris Palmer, who encourages saving energy through a variety of community-based projects, including a local energy conservation campaign called “Tuebingen goes blue,” which transformed the city’s transportation system to include hybrid, electric, and hydrogen buses.
Buffalo, NY, is the recipient of the Americas region award. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. has become the heart of development in downtown Buffalo. Recognizing the impact the campus has had on the city, stakeholders and campus officials have developed a five-year Energy Innovation Plan that will support economic development and growth in the greater Buffalo Niagara region. The project represents a new approach to energy innovation that integrates energy efficiency, grid modernization, alternative transportation, and renewable energy in the context of a growing medical and life science campus and its surrounding residential community.
Masdar City, United Arab Emirates, rounds out the 2012 EE Visionary Award winners. Masdar City is a small emerging suburb of Abu Dhabi that set an admirable goal to become the world’s only sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste city. Developed to house around 40,000 residents and hundreds of businesses, Masdar City’s source for innovation is a top-notch research university with a reputation for being on the forefront of clean technology development. This living and working community has become something of a research lab, where the next big thing in energy efficiency can be showcased, marketed, researched, developed, tested, and implemented.
Don’t Miss EE Global
To find out more about attending EE Global, go to the EE Global website www.eeglobalforum.org.