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Renewables Initiatives Announced at Clean Energy Ministerial

21 July 2010: Ministers and industry leaders from 24 countries representing over 80% of the world's energy and a similar percentage of the world's market for clean energy technologies met in Washington DC, US, on 19-20 July 2010, to participate in the first Clean Energy Ministerial.

The meeting sought to help accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies to combat climate change. Hosted by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Clean Energy Ministerial took place as part of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), set up in early 2009 to facilitate a positive outcome of climate change negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The ministerial combined a closed high-level event on 19 July with a public forum on 20 July.

Over 600 participants examined steps governments must take to improve energy efficiency, and called for sharing policies and programmes to develop and deploy energy at scale. They also addressed the need for policies and partnerships to guide private-sector investments and capacity while minimizing public expenditures.

The public forum, which was broadcast live on the web, saw discussions and announcements of new national initiatives on energy efficiency and smart grids, clean electricity, and energy access. Fostered in part by the MEF's Technology Action Plans, published in December of 2009 to address barriers and opportunities for improving renewables deployment, 11 new initiatives were announced by ministers, which together will eliminate the need to build more than 500 mid-sized power plants. The projects will, inter alia, begin smart grid deployment, cut energy waste, and support renewables markets and carbon capture and storage (CCS). [Ministerial Website] [Steven Chu's Presentation] [MEF Technology Action Plans (links on right side of page)] [Department of Energy Press Release with Fact Sheets on Individual Clean Energy Initiatives] [UNIDO Press Release]