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2 years ago

Energy efficiency – the fast track to a sustainable energy future

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The most pressing global

The most pressing global challenge Without swift action to reduce CO 2 emissions, global warming is set to accelerate, with potentially catastrophic consequences. To meet this challenge, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has proposed a so-called bridging strategy, which would make use of energy-efficient technologies that are already available today. Their consistent application, enforced by tighter regulation, would secure the long-term decarbonization of the energy sector, and make a significant contribution to the target of limiting the rise in average global surface temperatures to 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels. In view of megatrends such as urbanization and the industrialization of non-OECD countries, world electricity demand is expected to increase by more than 70 percent by 2040. 1 The power sector accounts for more than half of the increase in global primary energy use, equivalent to the total current energy demand of North America. Most of this demand will come from non-OECD countries, led by China (33 percent), India (15 percent), Southeast Asia (9 percent) and the Middle East (6 percent). 2 To limit global warming, the increase in electricity demand needs to be accompanied by a significant reduction in the level of CO 2 emissions per unit of energy consumed. Transforming the energy sector for a more sustainable future is a multi-generational project, but short-term actions, based on readily available, proven technologies, could provide a valuable short-cut in the effort to reach all-important climate goals. In 2014, energy efficiency measures were estimated to have saved more than 520 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe), corresponding to about 1.5 billion tons of CO 2 that would otherwise have been emitted. 3 2 Energy efficiency the fast track to a sustainable energy future

To mitigate climate change, we need to produce electricity with lower CO 2 emissions, and to optimize the efficiency of the energy value chain. final energy consumption would be 9 percent lower. The study calculated that the global saving potential of industrial motors alone by 2030 would be 13,286 terawatt-hours (TWh), equivalent to 1,140 Mtoe, second only to thermal heating applications. By deploying available technologies, it is estimated that almost 50 percent of the total emissions goal could be reached without compromising economic growth, because most investment in energy-efficient technologies quickly pays for itself in lower operating costs. In financial terms, the gains from energy efficiency measures are estimated to have lowered energy bills by over US$550 billion in 2014. 4 A study, ordered by the European Commission, 5 analyzed how much energy would be saved worldwide, if the most stringent energy efficiency requirements currently in force were applied globally. It concluded that the world’s Energy efficiency the fast track to a sustainable energy future 3

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