IEA: Energy efficiency is growing too slowly

Posted on November 05, 2019

Energy efficiency has never made such a slow progress in the last ten years as in 2018, the International Energy Agency warns today, pointing to the risk of "serious complications" with regard to climate and global energy access.

Energy intensity in the world (energy consumption in relation to wealth produced) improved by 1.2% in 2018, the lowest rate since the beginning of the decade, the Energy Efficiency 2019 report points out.

It will therefore require at least 3% annual growth to allow the planet to achieve its climate, energy, air quality goals, notes the IEA, which stresses however that technologies exist within the building, industry and transport sectors. .

"The historic slowdown observed in 2018 on energy efficiency requires a strong response from policymakers and investors," said international service director Fatih Birol.

"We can improve energy efficiency by 3% per year by simply using existing technologies and making profitable investments. There is no excuse for inaction. "

Profitability progress has been declining since 2016, helping to boost global energy demand: 2018 has seen its strongest rise in the last ten years.

If, on the other hand, the annual profitability rate was 3%, in those three years, the world could have produced $ 2,600 billion of additional economic output - almost the burden of the French economy - for the same amount of energy, the international service said.

As a reason for this decline, the report mainly highlights extreme weather conditions: a terrible cold in the US that boosted demand and use of natural gas, an unusual summer heat in Europe ...

More structurally, the report identifies certain social trends (for example, technical progress in housing construction does not offset increased demand for surfaces and equipment). In response, the measures and investments made are weak "at a time when they should increase," he added.

Therefore, energy efficiency is a saving and security for the countries: Japan has reduced oil imports by 20% since 2000 thanks to energy efficiency gains, Germany by 11%, China by 10%.

The International Energy Agency mainly emphasizes the opportunities offered through digital innovation and enhanced interconnection (between buildings, equipment, means of transport, etc.) provided they are properly exploited. "


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