Energy efficiency, an essential lever but too little activated, says the IEA, shortly before COP28

On the eve of the opening of COP28 in Dubai, the OECD's International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for an acceleration of energy efficiency at the global level in its latest report. It is one of the essential levers to achieve the objectives of the energy transition, but it is currently not sufficiently activated.

Lignite power plant in western Germany. The pace of improvement in energy efficiency around the world has slowed markedly in 2023, the International Energy Agency warned in its annual report. AFP - INA FASSBENDER

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Energy efficiency increased by 2% in 2022, but these efforts would need to be doubled in the next ten years to meet global climate goals and meet the ever-increasing demand for energy According to the IEA, this demand is expected to grow by 21% by 2040.

Long underestimated, energy efficiency has come back to the fore since the start of the war in Ukraine: households, businesses and the government have been forced to reduce bills that have continued to soar. And everyone is now concerned about energy efficiency for their daily uses; This is evidenced by the explosion of heat pump sales around the world.

Huge construction sites

But there is still a lot of work to be done. Two-thirds of the homes built do not meet any standards in terms of energy consumption, according to the IEA. And the year 2023 showed a setback in terms of energy efficiency. The "estimated rate of increase in energy intensity" is expected to be "1.3% compared to 2%" in 2022, an underperformance that is partly explained by an "increase in energy demand of 1.7% in 2023, compared to 1.3% in the previous year", the IEA said in this report.

Inflation and rising interest rates "are expected to reduce investment growth" in energy efficiency "to just 4% in 2023, compared to an average of 20% for the previous two years", marked by stimulus plans after the Covid-19 pandemic, the IEA said. However, they would amount to "just over $620 billion (about €569 billion) in 2023, about $200 billion more than before the pandemic," according to the report.

« Doubling Progress »

The OECD's energy agency, created in Paris after the 1973 oil crisis, points out that these results are far below the roadmap it drew up last spring, which aimed for a doubling compared to 2022, to 4% growth per year. "If governments want to keep the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of global warming set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 within reach while supporting energy security, it is essential to double progress in energy efficiency this decade," said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. cited in the report.

(With AFP)

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