Time to act as global energy efficiency progress drops to slowest rate since start of decade

Improved energy efficiency at global scale is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the current trend is disheartening. According to analyses by the International Energy Agency, IEA, a 3% yearly improvement of the efficiency rate is a minimum needed to keep up the energy efficiency pace. But after three consecutive years of declining rate, the improvement during 2018 was only 1.2%. This is stated in the IEA report Energy Efficiency 2019.

Energy efficiency improvement is measured through global primary energy intensity, an important indicator on the global energy use of the world’s economy. The explanation to the declining rate of improvement is partly found in social and economic factors, and partly factors such as extreme weather. But it is also a fact that policy and investments do not keep pace with the rising energy demand. Here, heat pumps have an important role to play with their high energy efficiency potential and their many possibilities for implementation.

By failing to reach the level of 3% of energy efficiency improvement, the world is also missing out on economic development. If, over the past three years, the minimum had been reached, the same amount of energy used had generated an economic output of further USD 2.6 trillion. This is almost the size of the entire economy of France. Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, says: “There is no excuse for inaction: ambitious policies need to be put in place to spur investment and put the necessary technologies to work on a global scale.”

More information can be found in this article from the IEA: