IEA report claims efficiency could save consumers $500bn yearly

Deploying energy efficiency policies could reduce energy bills for consumers by more than $500 billion per year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

IEA’s latest analysis titled Energy Efficiency 2018 examines the opportunities for improving global energy efficiency to 2040.

The study has found that efficiency gains alone could allow the world to extract twice as much economic value from the energy it uses compared to today.

The report sets out a vision for 2040 with 60% more building space and 20% more people, and double global GDP while using only marginally more energy than today and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 12%.

The IEA’s analysis recommends that in order to deliver this vision, an immediate step up in policy action will be required.

For example, countries would need to continue to push up the efficiency of both cars and trucks, building on the progress made in recent years. Read more: University of Johannesburg to host Shell Eco-Marathon

The report outlines a global strategy focused on what governments can do to capture the economic, social and environmental benefits of enhanced energy efficiency.

The IEA’s global analysis of energy efficiency has identified key actions that can deliver the most positive impact. This includes improving the efficiency of buildings and industry.

It also highlights the importance of areas such as aviation and shipping, where energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important.

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, explains that while various countries are endowed with different energy resources, whether it’s oil, gas, wind, solar or hydropower, “every single country has energy efficiency potential.”

“Efficiency can enable economic growth, reduce emissions and improve energy security. Our study shows that the right efficiency policies could alone enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach its climate goals without requiring new technology,” he said.

"Thanks to the critical importance of energy efficiency in building a secure and sustainable future, the IEA considers it the ‘first fuel’ and facilitates the exchange of best practices among advanced and emerging economies,” Dr Birol added.

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