Energy is going increasingly digital – better sensors, real-time data analytics and other innovations are enabling greater efficiencies and optimising the way energy is consumed across key sectors and end uses. Digital technologies are also enabling energy efficiency to play a more central role within the energy system, for example by enabling greater deployment of distributed renewable energy sources or by making electricity grids more flexible and responsive.
In support of the IEA’s analysis on the intersection between digitalization and efficiency, the IEA held a workshop entitled Modernising Energy Efficiency through Digitalisation in Paris on 27 March. The session brought together senior representatives from government, the private sector, research organisations, academia and international organisations.
“Energy efficiency is the first fuel in a sustainable global energy system. It is essential for any country looking to meet energy and carbon saving targets, and it can deliver many additional economic, environment and social benefits,” said Keisuke Sadamori, IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security, in his opening remarks. “Today’s session is a chance to identify opportunities for policy makers to use digital strategies to increase policy action on energy efficiency.”
According to recent IEA analysis, global progress on energy efficiency is slowing. In parallel, and as detailed in our latest Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, global energy demand accelerated in 2018 to twice the average growth rate since 2010. At the same time, global carbon emissions were up nearly 2% last year, which was also the hottest year on record. In this context, a more modern, digital approach to energy efficiency could be critical for addressing growing energy demand and carbonemissions.
The IEA is also developing an online resource on digitalization and energy efficiency as part of its Global Exchange for Energy Efficiency. The resource will be launched during the IEA’s 4th annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, which will take place in Dublin, Ireland on 24 and 25 June.