Energy Efficiency 2018

Analysis and outlooks to 2040

"Efficiency can enable economic growth, reduce emissions and improve energy security. The right efficiency policies could enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach its climate goals without new technology."
Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA


Energy efficiency can bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits. But while energy efficiency is improving around the world, its positive impact on global energy use is overwhelmed by rising economic activity across all sectors.

Energy Efficiency 2018 looks at why efficiency’s massive potential remains untapped, and through the new Efficient World Scenario explores what would happen if countries maximized all available cost-effective efficiency potential between now and 2040, highlighting what policy makers can do to realise this opportunity.

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Key Findings


	GDP	Energy use	Energy use without energy efficiency
2000	100	100	100
2001	102.38	100.5	100.83
2002	105.34	101.99	102.84
2003	109.63	105.06	106.43
2004	115.35	109.66	111.45
2005	120.85	113.17	114.98
2006	127.26	115.89	120.15
2007	134.13	119.19	125.23
2008	137.99	121.04	128.46
2009	137.37	119.64	126.88
2010	144.59	125.88	132.77
2011	150.53	127.81	135.98
2012	155.49	129.04	138.22
2013	160.72	131.66	141.8
2014	166.31	132.48	143.86
2015	171.84	133.81	146.57
2016	177.2	135.61	150.17
2017	183.72	137.99	153.87
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	Global primary energy demand	Global primary energy demand
	1.5	0
	1.5	0
	1.3	0
	1.2	0
	0.4	0
	0.6	0
	0	2
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Missed opportunities


The world is missing opportunities to improve energy efficiency and today's policies are not delivering the full potential gains that are cost-effective and use current technology. This delayed action on energy efficiency ends up locking in inefficiencies that mean much stronger action needs to be taken in the future. 

With stronger policies in place, last year the world could have saved more than …

The Efficient World Scenario


So what will the world look like if between now and 2040 countries implemented all the economically viable energy efficiency potential that is available? The potential is demonstrated by the Efficient World Scenario developed by the IEA World Energy Outlook

The Efficient World Scenario (EWS) shows a world with 20% more people, 60% more building space and double the GDP, all for a marginal energy demand rise. The EWS also fully delivers the energy efficiency target of UN Sustainable Development Goal 7. All of the measures implemented in this scenario are cost-effective, based on energy savings alone, and use technologies that are readily available today.


	Primary energy demand	GDP	Energy intensity
2000	100	100	100
2001	100.9202171	102.3798011	98.57434373
2002	103.0679049	105.3428466	97.84044027
2003	106.6972756	109.625601	97.32879413
2004	111.4796021	115.3548141	96.6406153
2005	114.4940249	120.8470414	94.74292763
2006	117.8531697	127.2599593	92.60820949
2007	121.0004846	134.1268484	90.21347036
2008	122.4274088	137.9861216	88.72443647
2009	121.4042486	137.3650489	88.38074139
2010	128.1794056	144.5926035	88.64866013
2011	130.0994861	150.5297701	86.42774517
2012	132.0963366	155.4899051	84.95492783
2013	133.7661984	160.7214955	83.22856753
2014	135.420733	166.3138612	81.42480246
2015	135.930098	171.8429952	79.10133192
2016	136.6686525	177.2039716	77.12505047
2017	139.3606633	183.7214644	75.85431769
2025	144.35664	243.984617	59.16628754
2030	146.1132126	291.2249247	50.17194621
2035	147.3607783	342.4311707	43.03369286
2040	149.398847	395.535594	37.77127755
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Immediate environmental benefits

The EWS would result in a peak in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, followed by a fall by 12% in 2040 compared with today - equal to over 40% of the abatement required to be in line with Paris targets. The EWS would also cut key air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter by one third compared to today. In particular, more efficient cooking could help reduce premature deaths from household air pollution by almost 1 million per year in 2040 in comparison with the IEA New Policies Scenario (NPS).

Greenhouse gas emissions in the NPS and EWS, 2000-40 (left) and air pollutant emissions in the EWS, 2015-40 (right)



Energy savings in emerging economies

Emerging economies could become 50% less energy intensive under the EWS, with China and India accounting for one third of total energy demand in 2040. These two countries would also account for over one third of the total energy demand savings, which would translate into savings of nearly $500 billion in fossil fuel imports.

What will it take?


The EWS shows that energy efficiency could deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits, but only if governments take greater policy action. However, the scale up in policy action must start immediately and there are good examples of policies in all end-use sectors that can form the basis for greater action.

Transport energy demand could stay flat to 2040, despite a doubling of activity

Making this happen will require stronger and broader fuel economy standards for both cars and trucks, as well as policies for non-road transport. Incentives can support adoption of more efficient vehicles and electrification of various modes of transport, with information and capacity building to support more efficient transport choices.


We could have 60% more building space in 2040 for no additional energy use

This would require comprehensive efficiency policies, targeting new and existing buildings as well as appliances. Incentives could drive consumers to adopt high efficiency appliances and undertake deep energy retrofits, with market-based instruments encouraging innovative business models. Decision making can be supported by improved quality and availability of energy performance information.


Industry could produce nearly twice as much value per unit of energy in 2040

The majority of energy savings could come from less energy-intensive sectors like food, beverage and textile manufacturing. To realise these savings, performance standards for key industrial equipment, including electric heat pumps and motors, can be complemented by incentives to increase the adoption of energy management systems and improved information.


	2017	EWS
Current	236	0
Average annual 2017-25	0	584
Average annual 2026-40	0	1284
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