EE Global Forum highlights efficiency challenges, chemistry solutions

Visionaries attending the 2012 Energy Efficiency Global Forum will draw from a palette of energy efficiency technologies, policies and regulations to paint a more sustainable future for our planet — and they’ll find that hardly any solution exists that does not depend on innovations driven by chemistry.

For example, some of this year’s discussion topics include the U.S. military’s adoption of energy efficiency technologies, improvements that can be made to boost home, industrial and commercial efficiency, and finding ways to “overcome geo-political barriers” to reducing our global carbon footprint.

As we wrote last week, the chemistry industry is helping the U.S. Department of Defense to achieve its sustainability and safety goals with 21st-century innovations like solar-powered tents and portable fuel cell power packs — even tanks that could one day be powered by fuel cells.

The chemistry behind building insulation in our homes and factories saves Americans up to 40 times the energy used to manufacture it. A McKinsey & Company study found that for every unit of CO2 emitted in the manufacturing of the products of chemistry, two units of CO2 are saved through the energy savings enabled by them.

In addition, strong, lightweight plastic packaging allows more products to be shipped with less weight, lightening the load and saving energy from the factory to our homes. Many of those products can be shipped in cars and trucks powered by lithium-ion batteries.

With more than 400 delegates from three dozen countries attending this year’s EE Global Forum, it’s clear they’ll find at least one thing in common: nearly every energy efficiency technology in their lives is dependent on innovations in chemistry.

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