International Renewable Energy Agency

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When electricity was first discovered, it was expensive to effectively maintain as it proved to be costly and difficult when generating and transporting. Hence, only the upper class was able to afford electricity. As time went on, new efficient ways of transporting and generating electricity were discovered. For example, electricity was originally generated through the burning of coal, but as technology advanced, it was discovered that electricity could be generated through the burning of fossil fuels and natural gas. Soon, even renewable resources such as wind, water, and solar power became possible resources for generating electricity.

Therefore, electricity was able to be generated in a more efficient and inexpensive manner. In the modern day, people waste electricity by leaving devices on for a long duration of time failing to conserving energy. For instance, many office buildings in New York City (NYC) leave “lighting, heating or cooling systems on during the night at levels that would be appropriate for daytime occupancy” (Bartlett, 2011). This usage of electricity is massively in a wasteful manner.

The reason why the issue of energy overuse persisted is due to technological advancement. As technologies became more and more advanced, the usage of electricity became more accessible. As the usage of electricity became accessible, people became unaware of their habits of overusing electricity withand that increase in energy overuse becoming is problematic. People only care if smartphones, tablets, or computers are charged, they never really consider where the electricity is coming from. Another reason why energy overuse persisted is that there are no effective laws restricting the overuse of energy. The government has not taken enough actions to address the issue or regulate it.

To begin, energy efficiency is an important quality of life issue due to its relevance and relation to NYC residents. This highly innovative city uses electricity in an unresourceful way allowing machines, homes, and buildings to continue running daily. An example of energy waste is “the United States wastes more than $2 billion worth of energy each year from inefficient outdoor lighting alone” (Dinesen, n.d.). With this figure we are able to imagine that a excess amount of energy is being wasted.

As one of the states in the U.S., NY plays a role in that 2 billion energy waste of outdoor lighting. Furthermore, energy is also being wasted when NY residents keep devices plugged in and running when not use. Chris Dinesen Rogers B.S. in Biology and 10 years in conservation provides an example, leaving the laptop plugged in all the time will use nearly 300-kilowatt hours… a fully charged cell phone attached to its charger waste almost 20 kWh a year (Dinesen, n.d.). Every second is important when it comes to energy saving, NYC residents should unplug fully charged devices to avoid energy waste.

Additionally, the NY community effect of overusing electricity has contributed to the risk of climate change due to the total greenhouse gas emission from careless amount of electricity use. Our overuse is resulting in climate changes, “drilling for natural gas or mining for coal to meet excessive energy demands will negatively impact the environment” (Dinesen, n.d.). Most people we know seem to feel this climate change, the weather being extremely cold during summer, or hot in winter. Another effect is the overuse of electricity, overloading the powerpoint causes fire to occur. Lastly, a natural community effect of overusing electricity according to Chris Dinesen Rogers is the increasing electricity cost due to high demand with short supply.

Therefore, The New York City Council enacted a series of bills in December 2009 which improved energy efficiency of existing building according to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. The Council serves as a check against the mayor in a ‘strong’ mayor-council government model. The plan is called ‘Greener, Greater Buildings Plan’ with a total of 4 bills addressing different improvements: energy benchmarking and disclosure; mandatory lighting system upgrades and tenant sub-metering; mandatory energy auditing, retro-commissioning, and retrofits; standards for building renovations.

For instance, The U.S. Department of Energy states the following bills: Council Bill No. 973-A, requires that building owners upgrade the lighting systems in all existing buildings that exceed 50,000 square feet. This is helpful when it comes to improving energy efficiency because the replacement will most likely be more energy efficient lights, improving the product. Council Bill No. 564-A: Requires that renovations of existing buildings meet minimum energy conservation standards. The council bill 564 checks if residents are saving energy, there is a standard amount of energy that they cannot pass meaning they will be more efficient and protective. These are improvements for a more efficient use of energy.

Additionally, laws and solutions suggested involve the support of the community or people in general, like using LED, using less energy and more renewable ones. NY can place regulations to shut down the electricity at night or charge higher electricity bills after a certain time. Nevertheless, many will be unhappy so renewable energy sources will be a good solution. For example, one solution is replacing most electricity with LED “it’s been calculated that the optimal use of LED lighting could reduce 4 percent” of electricity use (Nordhaus, 2017).

LED is a renewable energy, the replacement can help solve the greenhouse gas problems, saves electricity, and provides a long lasting energy source. Furthermore, Trotta, G., Spangenberg, J. & Lorek, S propose “improving residential energy efficiency is one of the best strategies to reduce energy…”(Trotta, Spangenberg & Lorek, 2018). The results show that the UK uses less energy because the resident cooperates and try to be efficient. Meanwhile, according to a scholarly journal survey by Shahzeen Z. Attari, Michael L. DeKay, Cliff I. Davidson, and Wändi Bruine de Bruin, most participants mentioned curtailment, turning off lights, driving less rather than efficiency improvements, installing more efficient light bulbs and appliances, in contrast to experts’ recommendations.

This shows that many of our residents do not know methods to improve energy efficiency specifically what they can do, like installing efficient light bulbs. The key to energy efficiency is cooperation, all residents could stop running the heater and air conditioner at the same time. Businesses and stores could leave the doors closed when air conditioners are on. Also, people can close their lights, heater, and air conditioner when not used (Bartlett, 2011). We can unplug fully charged devices too, these small things can save energy. Finally, another way to save energy is staying home, a lot of things can be done at home in modern days “staying home more can help save energy because when you’re outside, you travel and traveling uses a lot of energy. When you travel you spent 20 times more energy per minute than when you spent at home” (Pierre, 2018). The above are some solutions for energy efficiency.

There are two organizations that address the issue of energy overuse. One organization is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that helps many countries with their transition to using sustainable energy. They serve “as the principal platform for international cooperation, a center of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.” (“International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)”). IRENA worked on several projects to promote and adopt sustainable use of renewable energy.

One of the projects that the organization has worked on is the IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor. The project “aims to support the integration of cost-effective renewable power options in national systems, promote its cross-border trade and to support the creation of regional markets for renewable power” (“International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)”). In addition, another project that the organization has worked on is the IRENA Coalition for Action. The goal of the project “is to convene a global dialogue amongst non-governmental and governmental stakeholders to develop actions to increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix” (“International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)”).

IRENA address the issue of energy overuse because they are trying to help countries transitioning to using renewable energy sources which is a solution to energy overuse. Moreover, the other organization that addresses the issue of energy overuse is ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. They worked on energy efficiency by using congenation technology. Congenation technologies “captures heat generated from the production of electricity for use in production, refining, and chemical processing operations.” (Learn about ExxonMobil’s use of cogeneration technology to reduce its environmental footprint). This method of reusing energy is a great way to be energy efficient.


  1. Bartlett, D. (2011, July 26). The Top Ten Ways We Waste Energy And Water In Buildings. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from https://breakingenergy.com/2011/07/26/the-top-ten-ways-we-waste-energy-and-water-in-buildings/
  2. Dinesen, Chris. (n.d.). What Are the Effects of Overusing Energy? Home Guides | SF Gate. Retrieved November 25, 2018 from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/effects-overusing-energy-78753.html
  3. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.irena.org/
  4. Learn about ExxonMobil’s use of cogeneration technology to reduce its environmental footprint. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/technology/energy-efficiency/cogeneration/overview
  5. Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Case Study: New York City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, by Kim Brokhof, Brian Holland, and Ryan Foshee. ICLEI, Institute for Market Transformation, Washington D.C., November 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2018 from http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/html/plan/plan.shtml
  6. New York City – Energy Conservation Requirements for Existing Buildings. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2018 from https://www.energy.gov/savings/new-york-city-energy-conservation-requirements-existing-buildings?fbclid=IwAR2_WDjXietAulfLTSy_xJon73gkoszPXLMY3cCME3ntl44kwuTbMyjRucQ
  7. Nordhaus, M. S. (2017, December 21). Opinion | The Problem With Energy Efficiency. Retrieved November 25, 2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/opinion/the-problem-with-energy-efficiency.html
  8. Pierre-louis, K. (2018, January 29). Americans Are Staying Home More. That’s Saving Energy. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/climate/americans-staying-home-energy.html?rref=collection/timestopic/Energy
  9. Shahzeen Z., Michael L., Cliff I., & Wändi Bruine de Bruin. (2010, July 12). Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/107/37/16054.full.pdf
  10. Trotta, G., Spangenberg, J. & Lorek, S. (2018, October 5). Energy efficiency in the residential sector: identification of promising policy instruments and private initiatives among selected European countries. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://doi.org/10.1007/s12053-018-9739-0

Cite this paper

International Renewable Energy Agency. (2021, Nov 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/international-renewable-energy-agency/

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