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The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial has come to a close, but the real work is just beginning. The Global Energy Efficiency Challenge, which Secretary Chu outlined in his opening remarks yesterday morning, is an ambitious series of initiatives to cut energy waste across the world by deploying super-efficient appliances, improving industrial and building efficiency for large-scale facilities, implementing smart grid technologies, and helping to put millions of electric vehicles on the roads.

In case you missed the Secretary’s presentation, here’s a brief rundown of the four initiatives that make up the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge:

  • The Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative will help governments strengthen and standardize efficiency rules, improve incentive and labeling programs, share best practices, and drive new innovations in efficiency through strategic R&D. For example, many new televisions waste energy in ways that could easily be avoided. Leading experts estimate that international efforts could reduce television energy use equal to about 80 power plants by 2030.
  • The Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership will help large buildings and industrial facilities measure and manage their energy use. The companies helping pilot this program represent more than $600 billion in annual sales.
  • The International Smart Grid Action Network will promote global development and deployment of smart grid technologies. These technologies have significant potential to save energy and assist in the deployment of renewable energy.
  • The Electric Vehicles Initiative will help countries deliver on their respective electric vehicle deployment targets. According to the International Energy Agency, this will put participating countries on the path to deploying at least 20 million electric vehicles by 2020, thereby reducing global oil consumption by approximately one billion barrels over the next decade.

Additional agreements were reached in number of other areas that will help accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology. This includes initiatives that will:

  • Support the growing global market for renewable energy and carbon capture technologies.
  • Bring solar lanterns or other improved lighting services to more than 10 million of the world’s poorest citizens by 2015.
  • Help encourage young women to pursue careers in clean energy.

You can find additional details about these projects and others announced yesterday in our Clean Energy Ministerial Fact Sheet. Archived footage of the Secretary’s full remarks will also be available soon, but you don’t have to wait to share your thoughts and questions with us. Send us a question on Facebook, Twitter (via #CEM) or via e-mail and David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, will follow up in a few days with some answers on the Energy Blog.