By Simona Obreja 31 Julio 2020

Effective response of the project "Energy Efficiency in Argentina" to the coronavirus crisis

“Due to public knowledge measures, we have decided to suspend until further notice all face-to-face activities of the project. Today more than ever we need to coordinate. #Stayhome". With this message, on March 17, the project Energy Efficiency in Argentina was changing its work methodology as imposed by the confinement, designing online activities to follow up on onsite activities.

The coronavirus crisis affected economically and socially, with many efforts focused on facing the urgency of the health challenge. At the same time, it imposed a need to rethink current models, adopting drastic changes in our social customs, but also in the workplace, where some trends that could last over time have been prioritized, such as relying more and more on new technologies.
 
The efforts of the Energy Efficiency in Argentina project team to keep current commitments for the development of Energy Efficiency initiatives and to create a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and efficient energy sector have been supported by the work and active involvement of representatives of the Secretariat of Energy and the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina during the months of confinement.
We have organized online workshops, virtual trainings, debates and webinars, all with the purpose of continuing to share experiences and create synergies within the framework of the project.
 
A notable initiative has been the virtual trainings that have been offered as a follow-up measure by the project team to the 60 companies participating in the 5 Learning Networks in order to keep active the implementation and operation work of a Management System of the Energy. The trainings have dealt with cross-cutting themes, appropriate to the different degrees of progress of each of the active networks existing in the provinces of Santa Fe, Tucumán, Córdoba, Buenos Aires (Pilar Industrial Park) and Misiones:
 
Workshop 1: "Training of Key Personnel” https://youtu.be/oh7HsOWzO78
Workshop 2: "Energy Analysis Tools" https://youtu.be/QBCysCAsVkE
Workshop 3: "Legal Requirements for the implementation of ISO 50001" https://youtu.be/QTwb0Ssbbqc
Workshop 4: "Energy Planning Strategies within the framework of ISO 50001" https://youtu.be/OGmBlr2qsGQ  
Workshop 5: “Energy Baseline” https://youtu.be/vfysrlWGpjw
Workshop 6: "Action Plan and Measurement Plan" https://youtu.be/-0xKODbM9sg
 
With these actions, we not only seek to mitigate the consequences of confinement, but to validate the Network companies that have already completed the Management System Operation work (Santa Fe and Tucumán) and those that have decided to become ISO 50001 certified. In addition, the virtual trainings made it possible to advance technical content that added value for the practical part, and to maintain the motivation and commitment of its members. We recall that the Energy Management Networks aim to optimize the energy performance of the 10 - 15 organizations that are part of it and that set a joint goal based on the identified improvement potentials, meeting periodically to exchange experiences and progress.
 
Additionally, the project team organized another online activity of great interest, managing to gather more than 300 participants online through the "3rd Workshop for Energy Administrators of Public Buildings - Definition of baselines and monitoring models for energy performance": https://youtu.be/BeoqdfkoeEc
 
The team's work included the analysis of data from the National Survey of Household Expenditures to find out the consumption of the residential sector by uses and sources.
 
Regarding the National Energy Efficiency Plan, our experts continued to advance in the identification and prioritization of proposed measures and instruments, through the modeling of future scenarios for the Industry, Transportation and Residential sectors, estimating the impacts of the implementation of efficiency measures in the most relevant sectors of demand in the Argentine energy sector.
 
Nor have the energy efficiency activities for the transport sector been neglected, achieving at this stage the launch of the 2nd and 3rd Efficient Transportation Fleet Network in the Province of Río Negro and the Municipality of Rafaela.
 
Events that had been scheduled to take place in person went into online format, registering great success:
- the "Conference on Energy Efficiency:" How to save energy with ISO 50001 and Learning Networks ", with approximately 500 participants, was a unique opportunity to confirm that Energy Efficiency is part of the National and Provincial Agenda: https://t.co/dQQMSQh9K7?amp=1- The 4th Meeting of the Steering Committee of the project "Energy Efficiency in Argentina", with the participation of authorities from the European Union and the Ministry of Energy, where we shared the progress of the project and established methods to respond to new challenges.- The first pilot test of the Housing Labels Course in the provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro, via our e-learning platform.
 
Our experts have shared their experiences and the results of the “Energy Efficiency in Argentina” project also through presentations at thematic events organized by other institutions, such as:
- The International Energy Management Forum: https://youtu.be/bNgmz1cKXew, where our experts Daniel Bouille and Alfredo Caprile have disseminated Argentina's progress in the field of Energy Efficiency to the Region. We highlight the words of Daniel Bouille, who considers that "The greatest contribution to the decrease in global warming is in the hands of energy efficiency." Also, Alfredo Caprile advocated learning networks as generators of "good practices and commitments that increase motivation by promoting a cultural change in energy management in organizations".
- Webinar "Energy Efficiency, a means to contribute to the sustainability of companies", organized by the Argentine Petrochemical Institute (IPA) where our expert, Daniel Bouille, participated.
- Webinar "Sustainable companies: the pioneers of the future" - Module 6: "Sustainability and Energy Efficiency", organized by the Department of Corporate Social Responsibility of the Argentine Confederation of Medium-sized Companies / CAME. The webinar, aimed at sustainable SMEs, discussed the relevance of implementing Energy Efficiency measures, their economic, social, technological and environmental impact and their link with the Sustainable Development Goals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPB4297I810
 
News on the progress of policies and successful experiences in Energy Efficiency at European and international level were also present:
- EU Sustainable Energy Week, the European Union's most important annual conference on renewable energy and Energy Efficiency, a week dedicated to discussions on clean energy for sustainable recovery and growth: http://digital.eusew.eu
- the Webinar "Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Industry 4.0" to promote a more digital industry that prioritizes the reduction of energy consumption as part of the EU 2030 Strategy and the UN: https://t.co/hPx8OcbKOT?amp=1
- Environment Day, in which the European Union through the Delegation in Argentina reaffirmed its commitment in the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment, showing some of its initiatives to protect nature and preserve biodiversity in Argentina and the region
- The International Day of Light, in which the EUD in Argentina recalled the importance of light, energy and technology in sustainable development, giving as an example our Energy Efficiency project in Argentina, financed by the EU, as remarkable in to the results recorded in energy savings in strategic sectors.
- The Webinar of the annual call for the European Horizon 2020 financing program for energy efficiency projects: https://t.co/sfm1cDWL5b?amp=1
- EU eco-design measures from household appliances and laptops to electric toothbrushes to improve energy efficiency during confinement when household energy consumption increases: https://bit.ly/39YeI2q
- Europe Day, in which we thanked the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina and Ambassador Aude Maio-Coliche for the support received in order to create a more efficient country in the use of its energy resources and committed to the environment.
 
 
Finally, we have taken advantage of confinement to delve into useful theoretical content for energy efficiency, disseminating our publications and methodological guides such as:
 
-Sectoral Assessments of the main productive sectors in Argentina, which will allow identifying potential energy savings in the industrial sector: https://t.co/c8IrFLTZTx?amp=1. New diagnostic publications will be added for the construction, retail, hotel and restaurant sectors, energy supply, drinking water and sanitation and the Residential Sector.
- "Energy efficiency measures and barriers to their implementation in SMEs in the Argentine industrial sector": https://bit.ly/3cF0Xrq
- "Energy efficiency measures and barriers to their implementation in large companies in the Argentine industrial sector": https://bit.ly/34WjZGV
- "International experience in developing energy efficiency plans and actions": https://bit.ly/2WR9anv
- “Methodological guide for the elaboration of a National Energy Efficiency Plan in Argentina” https://bit.ly/39lAxZC
 

The commitment and enthusiasm of the team and beneficiaries involved in the Energy Efficiency project in Argentina have yielded relevant results, supporting the idea that, working remotely from two continents and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies, we can contribute to building a more efficient and sustainable Argentina in the use of its energy resources, following the European prioritization of an inclusive economic, environmental and social sustainability set by the European Green Deal, the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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