Thursday, January 12, 2017

Energy Efficiency Rate Has to Double to Meet Climate Targets

The annual improvement in energy efficiency has slowed down from 1.6% in the period 2000-2008 to 1.3% in 2009-2015, according to a comprehensive new report published by the World Energy Council and the French public agency ADEME.  To meet the Paris climate targets, the rate should double to 2.5% per year to 2030, says François Moisan, Scientific Director of ADEME.  According to Moisan, price signals are key to achieving this goal, although supporting policies are also required.  He believes the global spread of smart meters represent the biggest single opportunity to step up energy saving.

Installing smart meter (Photo Credit: Portland General Electric) Click to Enlarge.
Since 1992, the World Energy Council together with ADEME, a French public agency in charge of implementing policies in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy, has produced a series of detailed triennial reports (Energy Efficiency:  Trends and Policies at World Level) on the different approaches to energy efficiency policies adopted in more than 95 countries.

Dr François Moisan, Executive Director of Strategy, Research and International Affairs, and Scientific Director of ADEME, who has been involved in the research since the project’s inception, has seen attention for energy efficiency move up and down over the years.  “In the 1990s, energy efficiency was not on the top agenda of priorities.  Energy prices dropped at the end of the 1980s, Europe was undergoing deregulation in the energy sector, and climate change was not yet a leading issue.”

This notwithstanding, partly as a legacy of the oil crises of the 1970s, some, mainly OECD, countries implemented structural energy efficiency policies at the beginning of the 1980s. This included setting up agencies dedicated to energy efficiency, introducing standards for building construction, and labels and minimum efficiency performance standards for appliances.  Emerging economies followed this lead:  the report series cites successful practices in China, Tunisia, India, Ghana, and Brazil, among others.

“At the end of 1990s the climate change issue came to the fore, and in the first decade of the 21st century, the increase of energy prices on international markets made energy efficiency a higher priority.  We saw more and more governments designing energy efficiency programs and measures.  For industry it’s also a strong motivation for competitiveness and greenhouse gases reduction,” says Moisan.

Read more at Energy Efficiency Rate Has to Double to Meet Climate Targets

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