Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director / Ineternational Energy Agency
Energy efficiency is an increasingly important cornerstone of energy policy for governments and industry around the world with significant impacts on global energy trends.
If energy consumption growth is slowing in many countries, it is thanks to energy-efficiency policies that temper demand growth as more value and productivity is extracted from each unit of energy. This means economies can grow without witnessing a parallel rise in energy demand. For instance, the world used 11% less energy last year than it would have if not for efficiency improvements achieved since 2000 – a saving equivalent to the total energy use of the European Union. This is a stunning achievement that no other technology can match.
Further progress on the efficiency front is critical. Without a central focus on energy efficiency by government and industry, none of our wider energy, environmental and economic goals can be fully achieved. At the same time, energy efficiency offers the promise of greater social and economic benefits, but this is a potential that – for now – is mostly untapped.
We see this as a major opportunity at the International Energy Agency.