World wasting trillions in energy

The global fossil fuel bill could be cut by more than €2 trillion (£1.48tn) if we stopped wasting energy. That’s according to a new study commissioned by Philips, which says […]

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By Taryn Nixon

The global fossil fuel bill could be cut by more than €2 trillion (£1.48tn) if we stopped wasting energy.

That’s according to a new study commissioned by Philips, which says 98% of all energy produced globally is wasted through inefficiency.

The 2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index report urges policy makers to set more ambitious targets to improve energy productivity. Energy productivity is defined as the volume of services or products that can be generated per unit of energy.

It also shows that high levels of energy efficiency will contribute to global economic growth.

Doubling productivity could create more than six million jobs globally by 2020, said the report. To achieve this the biggest economies need to do more.

The European Union, China, US, India, Russia and Japan waste the most energy and account for 65% of global energy demand.

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Energy efficiency is a powerful instrument for job creation with great potential for stimulating economic growth and EU competitiveness. Energy productivity provides us with an excellent framework to harness under-utilised resources.”

Household bills in Europe could be cut by a third by 2030 by doubling the rate of energy productivity improvements.

Most gains would need to come from improvements to residential and non-residential buildings. LED lighting for example can help improve energy productivity by 500%.

Key technologies would be insulation, energy efficient appliances and lighting for buildings.

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs at Philips Lighting said: “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.”

The report also revealed the developing world has been slow to adopt energy efficiency technology but could “leapfrog” the developed world if it adopts better technologies.