Energy efficiency measures can halve growth in demand

22 November 2012
By Mark Venables
Mobile version
Share |
Energy efficiency improvements will see economic rewards

Energy efficiency improvements will see economic rewards

The global energy map is changing in dramatic fashion, according to the International Energy Agency, and these changes will refashion expectations about the role of countries, regions and fuels in the global energy system over the coming decades.

But it is not just shifts in the dominance of regions and traditional fuels that will shape the future.

Rather, what has been dubbed ‘the hidden fuel’, energy efficiency, could have a huge impact on the energy agenda.

“North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world, yet the potential also exists for a similarly transformative shift in global energy efficiency,” IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said at the launch of the 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO), considered to be the bible of the energy industry.

“This year’s World Energy Outlook shows that by 2035, we can achieve energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of global demand in 2010.

In other words, energy efficiency is just as important as unconstrained energy supply, and increased action on efficiency can serve as a unifying energy policy that brings multiple benefits.”

The IEA has developed an Efficient World Scenario, which shows what energy efficiency improvements can be achieved simply by adopting measures that are justified in economic terms.

It will be presenting this to governments around the globe over the coming months.

Greater efforts on energy efficiency would cut the growth in global energy demand by half.

Global oil demand would peak before 2020 and be almost 13Mb/d lower by 2035, a reduction equal to the current production of Russia and Norway combined.

There is mixed news for the renewable sector.

Although renewables will become the world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015 this rapid increase hinges critically on continued subsidies.

In 2011, these subsidies amounted to £55bn, but over the period to 2035 need to reach over £3 trillion.

“The main reason for growth in this sector is government subsidies,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA.

“Only half the three trillion has been committed, and given the current global economic situation there must be doubts about the required funds being made available: there is a lot of discussion going on about whether to renew these subsidies.”

The case for renewables is further hampered by the continued subsidies for fossil fuels.

The IEA reported that there has been a 30 per cent increase in fossil fuel subsidies to £325bn in 2011.

“Subsidies to fossil fuels continue to distort energy markets,” Birol added.

“The increase reflects higher international energy prices and rising consumption of subsidised fuels.

“Financial support to renewable energy, by comparison amounted to £55bn.”

Coinciding with the launch of the IEA report, the UK Government announced its energy efficiency strategy, including £39 million for research into what drives energy demand and how that might be changed, a labelling trial with retail chain John Lewis to show the lifetime running costs of household appliances, and a programme to improve energy efficiency in business and the public sector.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Design Delivery Leader, Palace of Westminster Restoration & Renewal (R&R) - Engineering Lead

    House of Commons
    • City of Westminster, London (Greater)
    • Circa £65,000 (There may be more for an exceptional candidate)

    You will lead on a number of engineering infrastructure and associated workstreams under direction from the Deputy Director

    • Recruiter: House of Commons

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Engineer, Network Equipment

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • £49-58k per annum, dependent on experience

    Manage issues and working groups relating to all types of equipment and assets used on the UK Transmission and Distribution Networks.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Programme Manager, Network Resilience

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • Competitive salary, dependent on experience

    Co-ordinate the network resilience, emergency planning and the Single Electricity Number (SEN) work in the ENA Engineering team.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    Siemens
    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • Marine Engineering Technician (Electrical)

    Port of London Authority
    • Gravesend, Kent
    • £34,318 per annum (inclusive of allowances)

    The successful candidate will be responsible for undertaking maintenance of machinery and hull systems in a fleet of small commercial craft

    • Recruiter: Port of London Authority

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Systems Engineer

    BAE Systems
    • Weymouth, England, Dorset / Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to be involved in designing, developing, and delivering cutting edge combat systems for the world's most advanced military submarines? BAE Systems is recruiting Principal Systems Engineers

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Communications Engineer

    BAE Systems
    • England, Hampshire, Portsmouth
    • Negotiable

    Communications Engineer Would you like to play a key role supporting the UK's Maritime Communications Infrastructure? We currently have a vacancy for a Communications Engineer at our site in Portsmouth. As a Communications Engineer, you will be carrying o

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T