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Accelerating the deployment of practical, cost-effective and scalable energy saving solutions through the G20 Task Group - TOPTENs

01 Jul 2019

“We hope that the Top Ten Energy Efficiency Best Available Technologies and Best Practices Task Group (TOP TENs) could be developed as a flagship energy efficiency cooperation under the framework of G20, and also become visible beyond G20 economies.” This was stated by Mr. Penggao Zhao, the Deputy Director General of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, while releasing the second round of international Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Best Practices (BP) list of the TOP TENs at the G20 Global Summit on Financing Energy Efficiency, Innovation and Clean Technology on 12 June, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan.  The release of the international list gained recognition from G20 delegates in bringing such a valuable opportunity to scale-up investment into efficient technologies for shaping a more sustainable future.

TOP TENs started in 2013, when IPEEC Members realised that energy conservation and energy efficiency improvements formed the fundamental crux of strengthening energy security, reducing energy demand, optimising energy supply, thereby improving economic development in a sustainable fashion.

Accelerating innovation of and investment in energy efficient technologies is critical to spur energy efficiency improvements and to advance global climate neutrality in a timely way.  G20 Members responded to the needs for scaling up energy efficiency technologies with the creation of TOP TENs, a platform that identifies, showcases and promotes the best available energy efficiency technologies traded in the market and best energy saving practices for key energy using sectors - industry, building, transportation and public services.

Unlocking significant energy saving potential through the ‘TOP TEN’ BPs and BATs

In 2016, TOP TENs was positioned as one of the G20’s key areas of collaboration on energy efficiency under the Energy Efficiency Leading Programme (EELP). Since 2016 the working progress and achievements of TOP TENs has been reported to the G20 by IPEEC. Australia and China are taking the lead of the Task Group with the participation of Japan, the United States, France, Canada and South Korea. The work of TOP TENs has received significant support from the technical agencies in each country, including the Energy Conservation Centre of Japan (ECCJ), China Quality Centre (CQC), French Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME) of France, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) of the U.S., and others.

To ensure the quality of the selected technologies and practices, the Task Group has developed an agreed methodology to assess BATs and BPs in specific sectors both domestically and internationally, which takes into consideration on both the ‘Decisive Threshold Indicators’ and the ‘Qualitative & Quantitative Indicators’. The decisive threshold indicators look into aspects such as the environmental, health, safety impact of each technology, while the qualitative and quantitative indicators focus on the energy-saving potential and economic perspectives.

In 2015, the 1st batch of international TOP TENs list was published to help the policy makers and businesses make informed decisions regarding the deployment of energy saving solutions.

China, France, Japan and the United Sates participated in the newly launched second round of international ‘top ten’ BATs and BPs in industrial and building sectors. The application of these BATs and BPs can substantially reduce energy demand and emissions for large energy consumers in both sectors.  For instance, the heat, cold and electricity generation by tri-generation method of France demonstrated nearly 80 to 95% energy generation efficiency. Japan’s practice on reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain led to 10% less CO2 emissions. The building energy management and information system of the U.S. contributed to 17% energy savings. The near zero energy consumption demonstration building case in China resulted in the 50% reduction of cooling energy consumption in the summer and 75% less energy consumption on lighting.

Greater impact beyond energy savings

The TOP TENs has always been adhering to the spirit of mutual benefit, innovation, and inclusiveness. This led to the widespread attention globally and positive feedback from the international community. Member countries effectively learn and exchange from each other to promote innovative energy efficient technologies and management experiences, thereby accelerating international energy efficiency cooperation with strongly aligned efforts. Bilateral and multilateral energy efficiency cooperation among G20 Members has been enhanced during the development and the presentation of the lists at international expert panels, seminars and forums, such as the China-Japan Comprehensive Forum on Energy Saving and Environmental Protection, the U.S.-China Energy Efficiency forum and the China-Russia Energy Efficiency Working Group. The lists have also supported the bilateral trade on efficient technologies, for example, the U.S. and China have included the technologies that recognised by TOP TENs in their domestic procurement programmes.  

Sustained international collaboration is critical to ensure that energy efficient technologies and practices are financed, developed, and widely deployed. To spur the wide uptake of the technologies and practices, the ‘top ten’ lists will be promoted through a wide range of communication channels, international events and activities such as on-site visits. More countries are welcomed to join TOP TENs, the task group, to scale up the international exchange on improving energy saving solutions.