Unprecedented international meeting releases preliminary vision for our energy future

Posted By News On June 9, 2011 - 7:30pm

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, June 9, 2011 – A unique, international summit of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and future leaders from around the world has concluded with the release of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 Communiqué. The event's preliminary report includes visionary proposals for transformative action to reduce the electricity-related emissions that drive global warming.

The full Equinox Communiqué is now available at: http://wgsi.org/files/EquinoxCommunique_June9_2011.pdf

The Communiqué identifies a group of technological approaches and implementation steps that have the potential over the coming decades to accelerate the transition of our energy systems toward electrification and, in the longer term, toward an energy future where our dependence on fossil fuels is greatly reduced.

"Given the right support, the six priority actions we have identified can catalyze change on a global scale, from the cities of the developed world, to the billions of people who live in towns and villages that lack adequate access to electricity to provide the central link to improvements in the quality of life," said summit advisor Professor Jatin Nathwani, Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Waterloo and Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy.

Can we low-carbon power the planet in 20 years?

Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 participants came together to intensely explore, discuss and propose how science and technology can catalyze the urgent change required.

With representatives from countries including Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Nigeria, the USA, and more, the Equinox Summit embodied the realities, challenges, and hopes of the enormously diverse global community – from those living in the world's 21 mega-cities of more than 10-million inhabitants, to the one-third of humanity who survive without electricity.

An electricity roadmap for nations

The Equinox Communiqué is a brief snapshot of the ideas and visions developed by the Summit participants, who aimed to address the great complexity of transitioning to low-carbon electricity production. It provides a series of immediate, concrete opportunities for action by industry and governments, both locally and internationally. These ideas will be explored in more detail in a future document, the Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030.

The pathways described in the Communiqué include: accelerating implementation of technologies to enable the integration of large-scale renewable sources of power, such as wind and solar, into existing electricity grids; new ways to develop low-carbon transportation; ways to build energy-smart cities; and means of providing sustainable electricity to those who currently live without it.

The Equinox Communiqué compliments a comprehensive online video resource of archived lectures and discussions by world-leading thinkers on achieving a low-carbon, sustainable electricity future.

That resource includes:

  • Summit participants expanding on their closed-door discussions in public forums

  • The Summit's infographic-style benchmark clips
  • A photo-diary of the week's accomplishments

What's next

The ideas outlined in this Communiqué will form the basis of a detailed document that will be produced in coming months – the Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030.

Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030 will paint a picture of the challenges faced by society in energy, detail forecasts from various global and national agencies for the likely state of affairs in 2030, and list the Equinox Summit's recommendations and proposals to address these.

Equinox Blueprint: Energy 2030 will be aimed at informing, advising and inspiring science and technology influencers, industry leaders and governments globally. It will focus on how science and technology can contribute to the challenges faced. It will offer practical, real-world solutions – based on the latest scientific thinking – and offer recommendations for investment and focus, and for the coordination of national and international scientific and engineering efforts which may, over the next 20 years, help address energy challenges in a meaningful way.

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