02/26/15 :

Energy Productivity Rankings Revealed for EU and Beyond, With Recommendations for Improvement

The 2015 Energy Productivity Index compares the energy productivity of countries across the globe and provides policy recommendations for improvements.

According to the International Energy Agency’s 2013 World Energy Outlook, global energy demand is poised to grow at 3.6 percent a year throughout the coming decades. Further, global energy productivity increased, on average, 1.3 percent per year from 2001-2011. But the productivity gains of the last decade could soon erode, due to exponential increases in population growth and the slow deployment speed of many existing and new energy efficient technologies and practices. 

The good news is that by using existing technologies, Europe alone could double energy productivity by 2030, just as President Obama has pledged for the U.S — and the Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 partnership has worked towards. Now, energy productivity is the watchword for the European Union as well.    

In the 2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index, commissioned by Philips Lighting, the Lisbon CouncilEcofys and Quintel lay out a sensible and clear plan for Europe to double its energy productivity by 2030 in the first report of its kind. The report provides rankings of energy productivity across Europe and worldwide, covering 130 countries total. Drilling down further, the report compares improvements in energy productivity for the world's 50 largest economies, with a succinct comparison of the world’s six largest economies — the European Union, Russian Federation, China, India, Japan and the U.S. Together, these economies account for 60 percent of global GDP and 65 percent of energy demand. Finally, the report takes an in-depth look at energy productivity in six strategic European economies — France, Germany, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and the U.K. — offering crucial policy recommendations for each country, and Europe as a whole, to improve energy productivity. 

Key indicators highlighted in the report contrast the staggering waste of 98 percent of all energy produced globally with the potential to create over 6 million jobs worldwide by doubling energy productivity. Deploying current energy efficiency technologies will also reduce the cost of fossil fuels globally by about $2.1 trillion. These indicators, in addition to the energy productivity rankings, create a compelling argument for the wide range of recommendations for European policy makers suggested in the Energy Productivity Index report. These include the need for Europe to:

1) aggressively promote energy efficiency at the national, regional and local level to government entities as well as consumers;

2) enact more stringent regulation and enforcement capability, to include appliance labeling, building codes and high efficiency lighting and house hold appliances;

3) establish a wide range of initiatives to propel energy productivity in the building sector involving both homeowners, sellers, buyers and real estate agents, to include tax incentives, and

4) fund the development of advanced research in energy-saving technologies as well as explore new avenues of deploying and diffusing these technologies.

Momentum on this topic is growing rapidly — the report coincides with a newly created initiative, the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity (GAEP). As the GAEP Secretariat, the Alliance to Save Energy will direct efforts to secure commitments from key policy makers and industry leaders in Europe, India and China. These leaders will work together with their U.S. counterparts — under the Alliance’s Energy 2030 initiative — to achieve our collective goal of a cleaner, greener environment; worldwide job creation; and robust, sustained and equitable global economic growth.