Why is energy conservation so unpopular ?

Think energy efficiencyI am currently wondering why are energy conservation and efficiency so unpopular. Indeed, these solutions can cut significantly our greenhouse gases emissions and enable us to save huge amounts of money.

Most governments are putting money on renewable energies or stuff like “clean coal“. Instead of the latter, why aren’t they instead investing in solutions that can pay back quickly and improve their balance of trade ?

From housing to transportation and from lightning to industry, energy efficiency can benefit developed and developing countries alike. It’s high time for us to act on that matter…

What I truly appreciate with these solutions is the fact that it can be applied absolutely everywhere. It can benefit any single person or company and lead to substantial savings without large investments.

From changing your light bulbs – the first small step one needs to take – to insulate your housing and many many more, there are myriads of ways to cut your energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions.

According to a previous Mc Kinsey report I mentioned previously, energy conservation and efficiency could account for larger carbon emissions savings than cleaner energies or land management.

Here is what I noted then:

The report outlines five major types of solutions:

  • Energy efficiency could account for 14 gigatons of CO2 (GtCO2) equivalent per year by 2030. This would take place in all sectors: from consumer electronics, to insulating buildings and improving transportation.
  • Low carbon energy supply, could account for 12 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030. This includes all renewables, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Forestry and agriculture could account for 12 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030. Stopping deforestation and afforesting some of these lands are mentioned.
  • Advanced technologies – costing more than 60€ per tonne of CO2 – could account for 5 more. Energy solutions that are currently too expansive are in this branch.
  • Behavioral changes could account for 4 GtCO2 equivalent.

In a business as usual scenarios, global emissions  would reach 70 GtCO2 equivalent by 2030. With all the above solutions, they could reach a level of 23 GtCO2 equivalent. (To be compared to current emissions of 45).

That’s right, halving our carbon dioxide and other

greenhouse gases emissions  is possible by 2030.

To conclude, it’s high time governments around the world get serious on energy efficiency and conservation. French people are told that they should save energy but there is no concrete message or examples to do so.

The potential benefits of a global initiative would be gigantic: millions jobs could be created, pollution would decrease, the balance of trade of many countries would improve…

5 thoughts on “Why is energy conservation so unpopular ?”

  1. Because the economy is based on consumption. If people get into the habit of using less energy, it might spill over into other areas. As the Mew York Times put it

    “thrift can take lasting hold of a consumer society, to disastrous effect.”

    Thrift – consuming less – creates a disaster. A disaster like… an earthquake, tsunami, nuclear power plant explosion, cruise liner sinking, volcanic eruption… a disaster.

    Consuming less has disastrous effects on a Western economy. The whole thing is geared to pushing through a large volume of stuff. Have you seen the story of stuff?

  2. Yeah I have seen it Kiashu. I even wrote a post on it a year ago or so. Perhaps you weren’t reading me yet then. 🙂

    If consuming less is a disaster I think that people who consumes less can be regarded as a terrorist…

    I would never have thought in a billion years that I could be regarded as a terrorist.

    No seriously, can we have prosperity without growth, it’s the topic of the post I will publish today. Stay tuned, and as usual, many thanks for commenting ! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Prosperity without growth :: Sustainable development and much more

  4. Thanks Kim for your comment and welcome here !

    I agree with you on how heat pumps and geothermal applications can help us.

    As a matter of fact, after reading Sustainable energy without the hot air I am preparing a post on that very topic.

    I hope you will like it. 🙂

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