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Global Energy Efficiency Investments Outpace Those in Renewables

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Some $310 billion-worth of global investments in energy efficiency now outpace those in renewable energy, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

IEA said this “confirms the position of energy efficiency as the world’s ‘first fuel,’ adding that “energy efficiency finance is becoming an established market segment, with innovative new products and standards helping to overcome risks and bringing stability and confidence to the market. 

The global energy efficiency investment total compared to $213 invested in renewable energy in 2013, according to estimates from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Launching the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 at a recent energy summit, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said, “Energy efficiency is the invisible powerhouse in IEA countries and beyond, working behind the scenes to improve our energy security, lower our energy bills and move us closer to reaching our climate goals.”

In addition, IEA said its report shows that investments in energy efficiency are helping to improve energy productivity – the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP:  “Among 18 IEA countries evaluated in the report, total final energy consumption was down 5 percent between 2001 and 2011 primarily as a result of investments in energy efficiency.

Cumulative avoided energy consumption over the decade from energy efficiency in IEA countries was 1,732 million tonnes (sic) of oil equivalent – larger than the energy demand of the United States and Germany combined in 2012.”

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