The Investor Confidence Project: The Time is Now

Energy Efficiency

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19 December 2018

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Rod Janssen

The end of the year normally makes us reflect on where we are and how we got there. In the past couple of months, we have been shocked by a special report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. If we go beyond a 1.5°C increase in global temperature, the impact will be dire. Since then more and more evidence has come forward, most recently at the latest global climate conference in Katowice, Poland.

Commentators are saying that the next two years are crucial to really get everything in motion to effectively lower emissions to achieve the necessary impact.

So, what are we to do?

Sometimes we feel we are in a movie about the apocalypse with all the news about climate change and the environment.  But we cannot afford to be negative when there are positive ways forward and there is so much to do. A year ago, Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman published their report for the Club of Rome entitled “Come On!” The title gives an indication of the direction they are moving – fast forward. They argue that the human footprint is increasing fast and, if not reversed, will eventually lead to a collapse of the global economy. This book is far from doom and gloom. It is full of optimistic case studies and policy proposals that will lead us back to a trajectory of sustainability. The book offers many positive, practical examples, success stories and opportunities.

Yes, there is a way forward.

Only a year ago . . .

The concept of ICP is relatively simple to understand. A potential project in a factory or a district heating system, for example, is identified. Someone has to do the necessary calculations to determine the viability. Someone has to be identified to install it (often the same organisation). And some organisation needs to fund it. What this project does is standardise the procedures so that all players gain confidence in the system. The factory owner is happy. The developer/auditor/installer is happy. The financial institution is happy. There are protocols in place and third-party monitoring to ensure everything is done correctly. The protocols are developed by interested experts and not by commercial interests.

Just over a year ago, I wrote (here) about the Technical Forum that helped the technical team from the Investor Confidence Project Europe prepare a protocol for industry. The protocol would be used in the eventual accreditation of a project.

Well, a lot has happened in the past year.  The protocols were developed for industry and xxx as well as for streetlighting. There have been several training sessions to get project developers up to speed on our approach and to get them credentialed so that they can use our methodology.

Reviewing the ICP approach

ICP's Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE™) is an international certification that insures best practices, the right professionals and third-party validation are used to deliver high-quality projects that you can bank on.

The IREE™ certification is based on the ICP framework, which assembles best practices and existing technical standards into a set of Protocols that define a clear roadmap for developing projects, determining savings estimates, and documenting and verifying results.

The ICP Protocols are now available on the ICP website.

The process is described in the Protocols and the Project Development Specification documents. The PDS provides a clear roadmap for Project Developers to correctly implement each requirement specified in the ICP protocols based on current best practices and available resources. It represents the collective project development knowledge of a large team of experts and has been designed to allow various stakeholders to develop projects that meet a consistent level of quality and conform to the ICP Protocols.  As with all of ICP's offerings the Project Development Specification is a living document and ICP seeks the continuing input of all stakeholders.

Latest developments

It takes time to get a project like ICP up and running but we have made great progress in the past year and a half of the project, funded by the European Commission.

ICP is now finalising the first two projects accredited under the project. This is a major step, given that there are many financial institutions that are part of our investor network, willing to provide financing for projected that gain our label. In coming weeks, I will provide details on the projects that have made it through our system.

Final words

The IPCC report and the recent global climate conference in Poland, amongst others, have given us many reasons why we need to take action. Asset owners need to look at what needs to be done to improve energy performance and thus reduce emissions – and save money.  Project developers need to better promote what they can do to realise those projects.

ICP can help. ICP was brought to Europe to develop a system to give confidence to all active stakeholders. There are still concerns that investing in energy efficiency is risky. ICP is designed to change that. ICP started with investments in buildings and has now broadened the scope to include industry, district energy and street lighting through a two-year project funded by the European Commission. 

Yes, these are early stages but we need to start somewhere and the ICP, in its relatively short history, has shown its worth.

Yes, we are reading daily about the critical period we are in concerning growing GHG emissions. We cannot simply watch or read the news and leave it to others.  We all must do our part.  If you are a project developer, consider joining our network.  If you are an asset owner, large or small, consider having your planned energy efficiency measure implemented through our approach.  And if you are even at the early stages of thinking about improving the energy performance of your facility, give us a chance to explain how the ICP approach will be of great advantage to you.

Much progress was made in 2018 but we need even more in 2019 and beyond. There is a good foundation but the progress depends on you now.

Yes, there are many good reasons to stay positive. Now we need you to take the next step. The time is now. And we can help.

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Do not forget...

If there is anything you need to know, look at the ICP website and definitely contact me directly at rod.janssen@ee-ip.org.

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About the Author

Rod Janssen is the President of Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes (EEIP).