Energy efficiency delivers a lot, could do more

IEA Energy efficiency market report 2013You know it if you have been reading this blog for some time : I am quite passionate about energy efficiency and its huge potential. Now here come two major reports that will hopefully transform you in energy efficiency enthusiasts.

The International Energy Agency ( IEA ), the OECD energy office, have published recently a great report on energy efficiency, an often overlooked solution to climate change, energy scarcity and peak oil, and increasing energy prices.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have found equally interesting figures for the United States in one of their latest studies.

First, let’s focus on the IEA report.

Between 2005 and 2010, eleven OECD countries – the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, and several Nordic countries – have saved up to $420 billion worth of oil thanks to existing energy efficiency measures.


Energy efficiency is to the Agency ” a huge opportunity going unrealised ” with ” a huge growth potential.”

In its presentation (pdf format) the IEA points out that no less than ” Two-thirds of the economic potential to improve energy efficiency remains untapped in the period to 2035. ” Most of this untapped potential remains in the building and power generation sectors.

The global energy efficiency market is comparable to the renewable energy and fossil fuel power generation markets with over $300 billion (220 billion euros) per annum. Yet this market is still inferior to fossil fuel subsidies, which are over $500 billion…

Their presentation continues :

Between 1974 and 2010, energy efficiency was the largest energy resource with cumulative avoided energy consumption due to energy efficiency in these IEA countries amounted to over 1,350 EJ (32 billion toe).

Here is a graphic that is quite explicit :

Energy efficiency was the largest energy resource

Please make sure you have a look at their complete report as it is a quite compelling case for energy efficiency.

NRDC reportOn the same topic, but focusing only on the United States of America, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out in a new report that  “additional investments in efficiency could cut U.S. energy consumption by 23 percent by 2020, save customers nearly $700 billion, and create up to 900,000 direct jobs.” 

Their report explains how the US economy use less oil than before the oil shocks in the 1970s, yet have a 25 percent bigger economy in real terms, ie. the US produces more wealth with less energy.

These kind of figures are just staggering and show that efficiency should get as much coverage as renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and so on.

It is time to tap into energy efficiency’s still staggering potential, whether it is with more efficient cars – with or without electric engines – better weatherized houses or better appliances as well as LED lights…

This is why I will try to bring you more news on what the IEA calls a hidden fuel that is hiding in plain sight.


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