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Leading the Transition to Clean Energy

joined Chairman Peter du Pont and President Nitin Pandit in Washington on 29 October for an evening reception to celebrate 20 years since the founding of IIEC and the expansion of IIEC to become a distributed organization with local offices and staff in seven countries. . Rob Pratt, founder and current Board member, was present along with several other current Board members, including Kingsley Haynes and John Mollet. Also in attendance were several past Board members of IIEC including John Fox of Perseus LLC; Russell Sturm of the International Finance Corporation; Matthew Mendis of IRG Consultants; Griff Thompson of the U.S. State Department; and Jim Wolf of James L. Wolf Consultants. Deborah Bleviss and Peter Garforth were on the road and sent their best wishes.

texttop The evening was kicked off with ice-breakers and as noted by one IIEC alumnus, Mike Philips, seemed like a homecoming week for many friends and colleagues in the energy efficiency community. Terry Oliver, former IIEC-Asia Director, took a red-eye flight from the west coast and brought along albums of old IIEC photos for the participants to enjoy. Denise Knight, Bos Dewey, and Scott Knudsen gave the attendees a tour of "IIEC Today" using colorful maps of IIEC's worldwide operations printed in the Bangkok office. 

The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion by including present and former IIEC board membes on "Mainstreaming Efficiency". The discussion was moderated by Peter du Pont and included short presentations by Rob Pratt, John Fox, Russell Sturm, Griff Thompson, and Nitin Pandit. The initial presentation was by invited guest, Dilip Limaye, who also made the evening possible through a generous donation by the Sharon Limaye Foundation.

The panel discussion brought perspective to the challenges of implementing and making systemic changes in the energy sector. While Dilip Limaye focused on the evolving mechanisms for integrating efficiency into the financial mainstream, Rob Pratt gave a stimulating synopsis of the catalytic role IIEC has played in bringing such new ideas to the energy-efficiency community. Griff Thompson reflected on how generic issues related to governance are directly related to energy efficiency; and Nitin Pandit provided a view of the emerging role of civil society in implementing the scale-up of energy efficiency programs. Russell Sturm provoked the audience by critiquing conventional energy-efficiency programs and noting that "we are the mainstream … let's act like it." And in a seasoned reflection of the energy efficiency movement, John Fox emphasized that energy efficiency was even more relevant today… "In 1976, we all projected that primary energy use in the US would grow from 75 Quad to 150 Quad. Today, we are at 95 Quad - to some significant extent due to increase in efficiency. And yet, we have fiscal instability and war. Imagine what the world would have been like if our projections had come true."

With that, a number of attendees in the audience wished the best to IIEC and expressed the hope that the 25th anniversary would be on grand scale in some exotic location.