The IEA said that one in eight cars sold in the world is now electric – Copyright CNS/AFP –
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted countries around the world to boost energy efficiency, creating “enormous potential” to tackle high prices, security and climate change, the IEA said on Friday.
Governments have increased subsidies for fossil fuels to cushion the blow of rising household energy costs in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, which has disrupted gas supplies and skyrocketed prices.
But a new report from the International Energy Agency found that it had also prompted lawmakers and consumers to reduce their energy use, prompting record investment in energy-efficiency measures such as building renovations and infrastructure for public transport and cars. electrical.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said that after the oil crisis of the 1970s, governments pushed for “substantial improvements” in energy efficiency, particularly in cars, appliances and buildings.
“In the midst of the current energy crisis, we are seeing signs that energy efficiency is being prioritized once again,” he said.
“Energy efficiency is essential to address the current crisis, with its enormous potential to help address the challenges of energy affordability, energy security and climate change.”
According to IEA research, governments, industry and households have invested a record $560 billion this year in energy efficiency measures.
Preliminary IEA data for 2022 also suggest that the global economy used energy two percent more efficiently than in 2021, almost double the rate of the past five years.
Annual improvements would have to rise to four percent to meet decarbonisation targets by mid-century, the IEA said.
But he said that if current trends continue to improve, 2022 “could mark a vital turning point” for efficiency, adding that developments this year have “changed the dynamics of energy markets for decades to come.”
Recent government initiatives to increase efficiency in buildings, cars, and industry have included legislation in Europe, Japan, and the United States that add up to hundreds of billions of dollars in spending.
The IEA said that one in eight cars sold globally is now electric.
Building codes are also being updated around the world, he said, while there is growing awareness of energy efficiency among consumers.
In Southeast Asia, all governments were developing policies for efficient cooling, which the IEA said was “vital for a region with one of the fastest growth rates in electricity demand.”
Meanwhile, global sales of heat pumps are expected to reach record levels in 2022, driven by increased demand in Europe, where nearly three million are expected to be sold this year, up from 1.5 million in 2019. .