Access to energy is of fundamental importance to our survival and, with the possible exception of agriculture, energy generation in the last few centuries has made the greatest impact on our environment of any human activity. Much of this impact is a consequence of a continued over-reliance on a centralized generation model without affording appropriate opportunities for supplemental, decentralised generation and the pervasive nature of energy related activities.
Although energy and environment concerns were originally local in character - for example, problems associated with extraction, transport and local pollution - they now cover regional and global issues such as acid rain, smog, freshwater shortages, water contamination and the greenhouse effect. Such problems have now become major political issues and the subject of international debate and evolving regulation.
Over the last number of years, IRIS has dedicated increasing time and resources in support of regulatory reforms and deployment of new technologies to address the energy issues.