What the COP21 summit means for energy efficiency in Australia

Organisations across Australia are being encouraged to align their business practices with energy efficiency concerns, leading many to change the way they generate and use electricity. 

There are a number of trends influencing these developments, including both consumer and regulatory pressure. While the country's businesses are ultimately in control of the way they use energy, these pressures are causing many of them to rethink how they will continue to use power in the future.

The recent climate change summit in Copenhagen – COP21 – represents an international commitment to promoting energy efficiency, and is likely to have a significant effect on the country's businesses. 

So, what are the changes and what does it mean for organisations looking to pursue greater energy efficiency?

What was the outcome of the COP21 summit?

The summit sought to unite the world's nations in a concerted effort to tackle climate change, an initiative that will likely see a renewed focus on clean energy options and efficient operating practices. 

The aim is to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

When the recent conclusion of the Paris summit, almost 200 countries pledged their support to reduce carbon emissions with the intention of limiting climate change. The overall aim is to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the levels seen before the industrial age. 

With previous agreements suggesting 2 degrees Celsius as a viable goal, the latest summit is likely to result in further pressure for businesses to reevaluate their electricity use. 

According to Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres, the agreement isn't just for governments and regulatory bodies, but businesses as well. 

"The Paris Agreement also sends a powerful signal to the many thousands of cities, regions, businesses and citizens across the world already committed to climate action that their vision of a low-carbon, resilient future is now the chosen course for humanity this century," she said.

What does COP21 mean for Australian businesses?

The most notable result for Australian organisations is the reflection of an official commitment to promoting energy efficiency. As investments in this area ramp up, it's likely businesses will have more support in securing the necessary funding and technology for a more efficient energy sector. 

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) believe that COP21 represents an important connection between international regulation, domestic renewable energy investment and private business electricity use. 

The COP21 summit focused on green electricity. The COP21 summit focused on green electricity.

According to ACCI CEO Kate Carnell, there's an important link between regulatory pressure on renewable energy initiatives and the commercial sector that uses and generates electricity.

"It is through research, investment and the development of commercially viable solutions by business that the ambitious climate targets can be met," she explained.

"It has always been the case that Australian businesses are more than happy to do their fair share as long as this is in line with global efforts and does not impact on Australian competitiveness."

COP21 and Renewable Energy Target to define electricity use in Australia

With a number of initiatives combining to influence electricity use across Australia, there are a number of ways businesses can get ahead of the curve and reduce their carbon emissions and energy use. Not only does this promote efficient operating procedures, it's more cost effective as well.

Capstone microturbines can be used in a number of processes to reduce the amount of energy a business uses. In many cases, they are an important factor in reducing an organisation's dependance on the grid and can provide efficient power security in situations where they need a backup supply. 

To discover more about how microturbines can help a businesses be more energy efficient, contact the team at Optimal Group.