The policies include the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the European Union’s REPowerEU plan, and Japan’s Green Transformation (GX) programme, which add up to hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on more efficient buildings, cars, and industries over the coming years. However, these packages—like much of energy efficiency investment more broadly—are concentrated in advanced economies, and much greater investment is needed in emerging and developing economies, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest market report titled ‘Energy Efficiency 2022’.
Energy efficiency actions have accelerated globally in 2022 as governments and consumers have increasingly turned to efficiency measures as part of their responses to fuel supply disruptions and record-high energy prices. Global investments in energy efficiency have reached $560 billion in 2022, an increase of 16 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
Preliminary data indicate that in 2022 the global economy used energy 2 per cent more efficiently than it did in 2021, a rate of improvement almost four times that of the past two years, and almost double the rate of the past five years. If the current rate of progress can be built upon further in the coming years, then 2022 could mark a vital turning point for efficiency, which is one of the key areas for international efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The IEA analysis found that thanks to energy efficiency actions taken since 2000, total energy bills in IEA countries in 2022 are set to be $680 billion less than they would have been otherwise—or around 15 per cent of their total energy expenditure this year—with past investments in building insulation and efficient cars saving many consumers thousands of dollars each year.
The global energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dramatically escalated concerns over energy security and the inflationary impact of higher energy prices on economies and people’s livelihoods around the world. The IEA report stresses that more efficient use of energy is the first and best response.
“The oil shocks of the 1970s led to a massive push by governments on energy efficiency, resulting in substantial improvements in the energy efficiency of cars, appliances, and buildings,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Amid today’s energy crisis, we are seeing signs that energy efficiency is once again being prioritised. Energy efficiency is essential for dealing with today’s crisis, with its huge potential to help tackle the challenges of energy affordability, energy security, and climate change.”
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)