Let Sweden become a model at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen!

The Climate Summit in Copenhagen has been preceded by years of negotiations. A very difficult obstacle in the negotiations has been the polarization around the developing countries for problems versus developed countries. The problems become even more difficult when developing countries surpass developed countries in terms of economy and greenhouse gas emissions.

In the negotiating pot are also questions regarding responsibility, cooperation, solidarity, trust and the fear that other countries get away cheaper than their own country.

The negotiations concern economical expenses to a major extent. The only ‘profit’ is to avoid a potential climate catastrophe, as resulting from humanity rather than ‘natural’ disaster.

The premise is that it must cost!

In Sweden we have untapped skills that we could demonstrate to the world. What I will now present only concerns the heating of our buildings, but since this need contributes to 40 percent of the energy use in Sweden it becomes important for the reduction of carbon dioxide outlet.

I have 30 years experience in energy efficiency and know that I can reduce energy use by 30 percent with a payback time that rarely exceeds 2 years. This means that the interest rate on capital is 50 percent. Then there is no cost, right?

Let Sweden show what we can!

You may ask whether this solution is widely available in Sweden right now. The answer is no, although a small paradigm shift could change everything.

What is needed? That we move from words to action! Seminars with speakers who have no clue of what to do provide nothing by e.g. repeating the message: ‘There are three challenges, energy prices will increase and the choice of system will therefore become very important, the knowledge to see which is the optimal solution and the right type of incentive structure of the whole society’.

Energy efficiency has always been profitable. Choice of system is always obvious at property level; likewise is the optimal solution. Incentive structures of carrots and sticks are just for the academics. There is no need for any additional incentives when the repayment period is two years already!

Energy declarations must be made in an entirely new way!

The current declarations only cost property owners a lot of money for no benefit at all. The only ones who become happier are the accredited energy consultants who enter how much energy the landlords have consumed into the computer of national bureaucracy.

As an example, I was one year ago in the town of Avesta in a large private housing association. The Energy Declaration claimed that the expected ‘normal’ energy use for the particular property was 1085 MWh, when it in fact consumed 1080 MWh. Consequently, the landlord made nothing. Based on my method for estimation of necessary energy use, the property would not have required more than 700 MWh. With a payback time of less than two years!

What would happen if the energy declaration concept was applied in the best way? Well, possibly nothing – as long as best practice isn’t taught to the right students. The problem is that knowledge is lacking at the academic institutions. At Chalmers University of Technology the Department of Building Services Engineering makes research on decentralized pumping system, i.e. a pump on each radiator. In the future, one could get a pump that needs ‘only’ 2 of 3 W. The sad thing is that I for many years have managed with about 0.2 W per radiator by using a central pump. This is just one example of the academic deficits. The Royal Institute of Technology has nothing to brag about either. I am absolutely convinced that they currently hold the world record in sub optimisation. You can read more about it on this site.

Finally, Sweden is fantastic! The main instrument to verify the energy saving measures taken – the day temperature statistics – is unreasonably expensive because the Swedish Parliament has forced the national weather institute SMHI to earn money on their statistics. Hence, SMHI earn a few million crowns while the consultants and property owners stagger in the dark. At the same time society throws away hundreds of millions on pointless research. Interestingly enough, the Danish society has recognized the reality and provided the same statistics for free. Denmark is certainly qualified to host a conference on climate change!

Åre December 4, 2009

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