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Record-high energy prices and the energy market turmoil this year have accelerated efforts in energy efficiency with global investments rising by 16% annually to $560 billion this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report on Friday.
With sky-high energy prices and much higher concerns about energy security, governments and consumers have turned to energy efficiency as the immediate measure to respond to energy supply disruptions, the IEA said in its Energy Efficiency 2022 report.
Energy efficiency progress has gained momentum and preliminary data suggests that this year the global economy used energy 2% more efficiently than it did in 2021. This rate of improvement is nearly four times that of the past two years, and almost double the rate of the past five years. The marked progress in energy efficiency efforts could be a potential turning point after several years of slow progress, the Paris-based international agency said.
“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 said.
This year, global investments in energy efficiency, such as building renovations, public transport, and electric car infrastructure, have reached $560 billion, up by 16% compared to 2021.
Thanks to energy efficiency actions taken since 2000, total energy bills in IEA countries are set to be $680 billion less this year than they would have been otherwise – or around 15% of their total energy expenditure this year.
“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,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.
“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,” Birol added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.