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IEA: Energy Efficiency 2017

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Shutterstock / Ella Sarkisyan

Energy efficiency is central to all global energy transitions. It is the world’s most available, secure and affordable energy resource and every government around the world has the power to further exploit efficiency for widespread benefit.


Energy Efficiency 2017 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) is the global tracker examining the trends, indicators, impacts and drivers of energy efficiency progress. The questions addressed in this year’s report include:


  • How quickly is the world becoming more energy efficient? Which countries are making most progress?
  • What are the impacts of energy efficiency on the global economy and energy system?
  • How does energy efficiency affect global, regional and national energy security?
  • How has policy, a key driver of energy efficiency, progressed globally? How does policy vary between countries, economic sectors and end-use appliances?
  • How has energy efficiency affected household energy expenditure? What technology changes might unlock future savings?
  • How is efficiency evolving in the major end-use sectors of industry, buildings and transport?
  • What happened to energy efficiency investment in 2016? What business models and sources of finance are driving greater investment?
  • How has the market for energy services changed? In which markets is energy efficiency being commoditised?

This year’s report also includes a special country focus on Indonesia, the largest energy consumer in Southeast Asia.



Key messages


  • 2016 confirmed the recent step up in global energy efficiency gains
  • The world is generating more value than ever from its energy use, and there has been a noticeable acceleration in recent years. This is generating economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • Energy intensity improvement is the main reason energy related emissions have levelled off.
  • Because of energy efficiency, global energy use was 12% lower in 2016, resulting in global economic gains and significant savings for households, but stronger policy implementation is essential.
  • The global picture masks very different country performances and low rates of new policy implementation. Gains will erode quickly if the pace of policy delivery does not accelerate.


Buildings’ energy efficiency has improved, but far more is possible


Energy efficiency in buildings continues to improve, thanks to policy action and technological
advances. Policies have focused primarily on the building envelope, rather than heating and cooling
equipment. There is considerable potential to achieve further energy savings by establishing or
strengthening standards. Efficiency improvements of 10% to 20% are possible in most countries from
appliances, equipment and lighting products that are already commercially available. There is strong
global momentum towards more efficient lighting; by 2022, 90% of indoor lighting worldwide is
expected to be provided by compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).



Concluding points


  • Energy Efficiency 2017 shows the critical importance of energy efficiency to economies, households and the environment.
  • There has been a step up in efficiency gains in recent years, despite lower energy prices, and this is having many positive impacts.
  • However, 68% of global energy use remains uncovered by mandatory efficiency policy and the current low rate of policy implementation needs to accelerate.
  • Decarbonisation requires the integration of efficiency and renewables into the energy system through a harmonised policy approach.
  • The IEA is attacking the unmet energy efficiency potential by facilitating knowledge sharing and providing concrete policy recommendations.

You can download the report at the link below.