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New global report calls for more energy productivity

February 17, 2015 - The first global report to rank countries by their energy productivity revealed that 98% of energy is wasted and a modest rise in energy productivity will boost the economy, create jobs and contribute to saving the environment, said Royal Philips, who commissioned the report.


February 17, 2015
By Renée Francoeur

The 2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index launched today, authored by The Lisbon Council, Ecofys and Quintel Intelligence. The Index ranks countries by the amount of GDP they produce for every unit of energy they consume. This differs from energy efficiency, which means using less energy to deliver the same service.

Hong Kong topped the list with an energy productivity of EUR 456 billion of GDP per exajoule (one quintillionjoules) consumed. Cuba came second, boasting EUR 365 billion GDP per exajoule. The United States ranked 87th.

The report warns that the current rate of energy productivity improvement—around 1.3% worldwide each year—is too slow to keep pace with the rising energy demand.

Just by increasing the use of technology today, such as energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting and insulation, European households could reduce their energy bills by a third, stated the report. Additionally, overall energy consumption in the European Union could be cut by 35% by more than doubling the rate of the region’s energy productivity improvement from close to 1.5% to 3% per year by 2030.
 
“Within the range of energy efficiency opportunities, LED lighting is a key contributor in addressing the soaring energy demand of the future as it already can deliver a 500% energy productivity improvement in average households”, said Harry Verhaar, head of global public and government affairs at Philips Lighting. “And by connecting LED lighting to sensors, apps and controls, even greater efficiencies may be realized. It is dramatically changing the way people experience and interact with light at home, at work and in their cities.”

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According to the High-Energy Productivity Growth Scenario presented in the report, nearly 12 European households could be lit with a 1000 KWh of electricity, which is roughly what it takes to light two households today.

The report urges policymakers to set more ambitious targets to improve energy productivity. It demonstrates that high levels of energy efficiency will contribute to global economic growth: doubling energy productivity could create more than 6 million jobs globally by 2020 and reduce the global fossil fuel bill by more than EUR 2 trillion by 2030.