By 2040, global energy demand is expected to increase by 37% and electricity demand by almost 80%.1 This growth in demand poses a challenge for governments trying to meet demand while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is helping countries and industries address this challenge through initiatives to increase energy efficiency and productivity and effectively manage energy demand.
Improvements in energy efficiency and higher levels of energy productivity offer many benefits to households, businesses, and governments. More efficient use of energy can reduce energy costs, increase competitiveness, enhance energy security, and expand energy access. It can also reduce or eliminate the need to add new power-generating capacity and reduce carbon emissions and other harmful pollutants. And by shifting the demand curve, energy efficiency, along with flexible demand response, can play a critical role in the integration of variable renewable energy sources.
According to recent analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency measures could provide almost half of the energy and associated emissions reductions required to be on track in 2020 for a 2°C global warming trajectory.2 The IEA also projects that as much as two-thirds of energy efficiency potential though 2035 will remain untapped unless policies change. CEM energy demand initiatives address the challenges to realizing this potential through work focused on vehicles, buildings and industry, and equipment and appliances—all major sources of growth in energy demand.
1 IEA, “World Energy Outlook Factsheet 2014: Power and renewables,” 2014.
2 Presented in Redrawing the Energy–Climate Map: World Energy Outlook Special Report (June 10, 2013), IEA’s 4-for-2°C Scenario identifies short-term actions toward the 2012 World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2. The 4-for-2°C Scenario mitigation by 2020 is slightly smaller than that of the 450 Scenario.