The International Energy Agency (IEA) published its annual Energy Efficiency Market Report last week. This year’s report identifies energy efficiency as a critical “fuel” in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The report demonstrates the central role of government policy in driving energy efficiency. Strengthening these policies will be critical to boosting the potential gains from energy efficiency.
The report highlighted some exciting news: efficiency gains in the IEA’s member countries were large enough to power Japan in 2015 making efficiency a critical component of a secure, sustainable energy system. The report noted that one country in particular, China, showed significant progress, where energy intensity improved by 5.6 per cent. IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, said, “That was up from an annual rate of 3.1 per cent over the previous decade, according to the report. China’s progress in energy efficiency is making its mark on global energy markets. Primary energy demand in China grew by just 0.9 per cent in 2015, its lowest rate since 1997, while the economy grew by 6.9 per cent.”
“Energy efficiency is the one energy resource that all countries possess in abundance. I welcome the improvement in global energy efficiency, particularly at a time of lower energy prices. This is a sign that many governments push the energy efficiency policies, and it works,” Dr. Birol said.