Danfoss President Optimistic Despite COP15 Outcome
Even without the delegates agreeing on a replacement of the Kyoto Protocol at the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) Dec. 7 – 18 in Copenhagen, President of Danfoss NA Robert Wilkins believes that modern-day technological advances do improve energy efficiency. “While it’s true that the removal of political and economic barriers would provide a significant boost to global energy efficiency, it’s important to remember that many of today’s technologies produce the desired effect,” he said.
Danfoss, an official sponsor of COP15 through its association with the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), co-sponsored a reception in Copenhagen immediately following the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) forum on Dec. 14. U.S. Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Steven Chu addressed the reception and reiterated the Obama Administration’s emphasis on energy efficiency, “…not just as low-hanging fruit, but as fruit already on the ground,” ready to be picked up. Sec. Chu went on to say, “Energy efficiency means saving money as well as saving the planet.”
“The increased emphasis on energy efficiency will provide a boost for our industry, leading to both job creation and energy savings,” Wilkins said. “With the appropriate incentives, millions of old, inefficient air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems in the field could be replaced with today’s much more efficient equipment or tomorrow’s super-efficient equipment being developed today utilizing variable frequency drive (VFD) technology.”
One incentive already benefitting Americans is the result of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation provides tax incentives to homeowners – credits as high as 30 percent of the installed cost, or up to a total of $1,500 of residential projects installed from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010 – for qualified improvements with high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems.
Prior to his appearance at the ASE reception, Sec. Chu announced a $350 million initiative, the Climate Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative, designed to encourage the rapid deployment of renewable energy in developing countries. He pledged that the United States will contribute $85 million to the fund.
According to Wilkins, the broader the applications of energy efficient technologies, the greater the benefits would be. “The implications for the United States alone are significant,” he noted. “Improved energy efficiencies means reducing our dependence on foreign energy supplies, increasing energy security, improving our balance of trade, reducing the toll that energy costs have on our economy, and reducing surface pollution.”