Energy Efficiency Confirmed as ‘First Fuel’

October 10, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

IEA energy manageA report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) says investments in energy efficiency markets worldwide in 2012 were above $310 billion, larger than supply-side investments in renewable electricity or in electricity generated from coal, oil and gas.

The Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 confirms energy efficiency’s place as the “first fuel.” Avoided energy use was larger than the supply of oil (1,202 million tonnes of oil-equivalent – Mtoe), electricity (552 Mtoe) or natural gas (509 Mtoe) in 2011. These savings equate to 59 percent of total final consumption (TFC) in the 11 IEA member countries that year.

The report says that at a country level, energy efficiency has served to place downward pressure on TFC in 16 of the 18 analyzed countries since 2001, and is the prime mover of the absolute reductions in TFC experienced in 12 countries during this period. Of the 12 countries that have reduced TFC since 2001, eight have experienced energy efficiency effects larger than total increases in activity.

Efficiency has more than countered growing populations and preferences for larger dwellings in reducing absolute energy use among the countries evaluated.

Efficiency is reducing energy consumption during a time when energy prices have increased significantly across the countries evaluated. Energy prices increased between 11 percent and 52 percent in individual jurisdictions between 2001 and 2011.

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