Energy Efficiency Measures to Help Save $680 Billion in 2022: IEA
Global energy efficiency investments rose 16% YoY to $560 billion in 2022
December 20, 2022
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that energy efficiency actions taken since 2000, such as investments in building insulation and efficient cars, have ensured that the energy bills in IEA countries in 2022 are set to be $680 billion less than what they would have been otherwise.
The savings on energy spending in 2022 is nearly 15% of total energy expenditure.
IEA’s latest report titled Energy Efficiency 2022 found that efficiency measures which include building renovations, renovating public transport, and electric car infrastructure, accounted for $560 billion in global investments in 2022, an increase of 16% from the year before.
Further, the report said the global economy cumulatively used energy 2% more efficiently than it did in 2021. This is four times the rate of improvement compared to the past two years and almost double the rate when juxtaposed against the past five years. If this trend continues and is built upon further, 2022 could mark a vital turning point for efficiency.
Energy efficiency actions in 2022 have accelerated globally as governments and consumers have increasingly turned towards efficiency measures owing to fuel supply disruptions and high energy prices.
“Amid today’s energy crisis, we are seeing signs that energy efficiency is once again being prioritized. Energy efficiency is essential for dealing with today’s crisis, with its huge potential to help tackle the challenges of energy affordability, energy security, and climate change,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.
This development indicates a potential turning point after several years of slow progress.
The electrification of transport and heating has accelerated, with one in every eight cars now electric, being sold globally. Almost 3 million heat pumps are set to be sold in 2022 in Europe alone, which is twice the number compared to 2019, thanks to them becoming an increasingly cost-effective heating source.
Building codes are also being strengthened, and new ones are being introduced in emerging and developing economies, along with a wave of energy-saving awareness campaigns which is helping millions to manage their energy use better. For instance, all governments in Southeast Asia are now developing policies for efficient cooling.
Additionally, significant policy and spending announcements like the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the European Union’s REPowerEU plan, and Japan’s Green Transformation program add up to hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on more efficient buildings, cars, and industries this year.
However, these packages are concentrated in advanced economies, and much greater investment is needed in emerging and developing economies.
In its World Energy Outlook, the IEA earlier pointed out that the global crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine could ironically accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system.