However, the IEA’s executive director Dr Fatih Birol also noted that progress on the energy efficiency policies is critical.
This means economies can grow without witnessing a parallel rise in energy demand, he said.
“Without a central focus on energy efficiency by government and industry, none of our wider energy, environmental and economic goals can be fully achieved,” Dr Birol stated.
Innovative energy efficiency policies
Dr Birol also noted recent developments that includes India, of which the country recently became their association member and is pioneering innovative energy efficiency policies.
Through a programme called Ujala, the Hindi word for light, India is delivering the world’s largest rollout of energy efficient lighting.
Over 230 million lights have been distributed owing to a policy that lowers costs through bulk purchases and allows households to pay for the lights with the savings they make.
In China, government policy supporting energy efficiency has created a whole new sector for services where companies provide specialist services and technology solutions to make industries more efficient. Read more…
The IEA director underlined that the sector is less than 20 years old yet employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of more than $13 billion.
Global energy efficiency agenda
Dr Birol said: “These examples explain why one of my top priorities as part [of] our modernisation process has been to build a global hub for energy efficiency at the IEA, where we call energy efficiency the first fuel.
“This solution needs to be central to any energy policy, and we need to raise our efforts to integrate it more into the mainstream,” he added.
He also underlined that since 2015, the agency has opened doors to emerging countries beyond OECD countries, adding that the IEA members now includes the largest emerging countries like China, India and Indonesia, and is getting ready to greet new members like Mexico.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock