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Global energy efficiency savings hit $5.7tr


Energy techEnergy efficiency improvements over the last 25 years saved a cumulative $5.7 trillion in energy expenditures, according to the International Energy Administration (IEA).

IEA said that this virtual supply of energy generates multiple benefits for governments, businesses and households, including greater energy security from reduced dependence on imports and billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

According to the 2015 Energy Efficiency Market Report released last weekend, strengthening our understanding of the energy efficiency market and the prospects over the medium term is becoming increasingly important.

The report evaluates the impact of energy efficiency in the energy system and assesses the scale and outlook for further energy efficiency investment using detailed country-by-country energy efficiency indicator data and IEA expertise.
It put the energy efficiency investments in the buildings sector at between $90 billion in 2014.

The report noted that in the electricity sector, energy efficiency has proved critical in flattening electricity consumption in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries, driving utilities to adapt their business models.

As detailed in the report, energy efficiency improvements since 1990 in IEA member countries reduced primary energy consumption in 2014 by more than 760 million tonnes of oil equivalent. Because two-thirds of CO2 emissions come from fuel combustion, this makes efficiency a critical tool for minimising the costs of reducing greenhouse gases. Avoided energy consumption from investments in energy efficiency over the past 25 years also saved USD 550 billion for consumers in IEA member countries in 2014, more than the European Union spent on fuel imports for the year.

The report noted that energy efficiency not only reduces emissions and consumers’ energy bills, it also improves energy security and trade balances.

Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 shows that in 2014, those investments in energy efficiency over the past 25 years saved IEA member countries $80 billion in fossil fuel imports.
“Germany alone avoided $30 billion in energy imports last year boosting their trade surplus by 12 per cent, and Japan saved $10 billion cutting its trade deficit by eight per cent.

The pace of efficiency improvements is raising optimism around the feasibility of a transition to an energy system in line with limiting warming to 2 degrees. Energy intensity, or the amount of energy required to produce gross domestic product, improved by 2.3 per cent in 2014 in OECD countries, within striking distance of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All target of 2.6 per cent per year to stem global temperature rise”, it added.

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