The latest data on productivity for high-impact countries – focusing on the opportunities, barriers, geographies and sectors where we can go further, faster
Energy efficiency offers the biggest opportunity to make fast progress. For the industrialized world and fast growing economies this must be at the top of the to-do list. Even for the least developed countries, reducing energy intensity now is smart growth.
The SEforALL objective on energy efficiency requires an improvement in energy intensity at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6% - currently, we are at 2% CAGR. To reach the goal, the world needs a CAGR of 2.8% every year until 2030 and every year we don’t meet this, the higher the annual rate needs to be. Moreover, to accomplish this, it is estimated we will also need to increase investment in energy efficiency at a rate of 3-6 times what it currently is.
Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) peaked for high income countries in 2007, and has been in decline since 2012. The top twenty energy consuming economies globally – defined as high-impact countries – accounted for more than 75% of global TPES, with only four countries (China, the United States, India and Russia) accounting for nearly 50% of TPES. How rapidly these countries reduce their energy intensity has a major impact on global outcomes. 15 out of 20 high impact countries reduced their intensity between 2012 and 2014. Low Income Countries in Africa have the highest energy intensity worldwide (predominantly due to the use of traditional biomass).
Transport: The overall energy intensity of transport has been improving at 2.8 percent per year for passenger transport since 2010, but only 1.0 percent per year for freight transport. However, within this total there are some noteworthy performances; passenger aviation and freight shipping have both been reducing their energy intensity at rates of around 4.0 percent per year since 2010.
Power: Losses both in thermal generation and on the transmission and distribution network impact energy consumption. Since 1990, the efficiency of thermal generation has been edging-up very slowly and reached 39% average efficiency in 2014. However, average efficiency rates of 45% are already being achieved for natural gas plants. Network losses, from transmission and distribution, are also improving very slowly - reaching 9% in 2014, but with wide variation between high income countries (at 7%) and low income countries (at 19%)
Industries: The industrial sector, which accounts for 40 percent of global energy usage, has seen its energy intensity drop by a steady 2.0 percent per year since 2010.
Buildings: Whereas the industrial sector has made a major positive contribution to global energy intensity trends with an annual average improvement of 2% in 2013-2014, the residential sector has experienced a small but steady increase of energy intensity.