IEA member countries make progress in implementing energy efficiency policies

13 April 2011

A fresh evaluation of energy efficiency policies implemented in IEA member countries indicates that significant improvements have been made, particularly in the transport sector, since the last study in 2009.

“We urge countries to keep up the good work, and to plan and implement energy efficiency policies in areas not yet addressed,” said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director at the IEA, speaking on the first day of the Global Energy Efficiency Forum in Brussels on 12 April.

Potential global savings

The IEA’s 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations by IEA cover a broad range of areas such as transport (which includes details on the importance of eco-driving and fuel-efficient tyres) and buildings (which addresses everything from glazed windows to mandatory codes for new buildings).

If implemented globally, and without delay, the IEA estimates that the proposed actions in these policy recommendations could save around 7.6 gigatonnes of CO2 a year by 2030. This is equivalent to about one and a half times the current annual CO2 emissions in the United States.

Energy ministers from IEA member countries “strongly welcomed” these recommendations when they were published back in 2008, and invited the Agency “to evaluate and report on the energy efficiency progress of IEA member and key non-member countries.”

Bringing down barriers

During his speech, Mr Tanaka stressed that energy efficiency plays a vital role in addressing the energy security imperatives facing countries throughout the world.

He added that energy efficiency also can contribute to tackling climate change. The Executive Director explained that IEA projections identify energy efficiency as the single most important component of achieving the goal to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.

Despite the progress seen from the preliminary data gathered by the IEA, Mr Tanaka stressed: “Barriers still exist, and more energy efficiency policy implementation is needed to meet climate, security and economic development objectives.”

What is energy efficiency?
Something is more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input, or the same services for less energy input. For example, when a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb uses less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light, the CFL is considered to be more energy efficient.

Photo of Nobuo Tanaka: © Alliance to Save Energy