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Energy efficiency gains at risk of slowing down: IEA

CTBR Staff Writer Published 06 October 2017

The global energy efficiency gains are at risk of slowing down if governments do not focus on implementing new efficiency policies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

In its Energy Efficiency 2017 report, the IEA stated that the global energy intensity declined by 1.8% in 2016, indicating that the global economy generated more value from its energy.

Global energy intensity represents the energy used per unit of gross domestic product.

Despite the strong progress seen since the start of the decade, the IEA report brings forth some concerning policy trends. Efficiency codes and standards covered only 32% of global energy use in 2016, and most of the increase came from existing policies.

The Efficiency Policy Progress Index of the IEA reveals that the strength of the policies increased at their slowest rate in recent years and there was significant variation in progress across countries.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “There was a noticeable slowdown in the implementation of new policies in 2016, and this trend appears to be continuing in 2017.”

“Countries should focus on attacking the more than 68% of global energy use that is not covered by efficiency codes or standards. A key IEA mandate is to help countries pursue this very important goal by sharing best practices and learning from each other.”

The report stated that improvements in energy intensity have been the most significant factor in keeping global greenhouse gas emissions flat over the last three years.

Decarbonization efforts will be successful only by integrating energy efficiency policies, renewables and other tools into the energy system through a harmonized policy approach, it said.

Connected devices in households worldwide can provide new opportunities for energy savings through accurate control of how much energy is used, the IEA report said.