Energy efficiency can support economic growth

The benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In a study that reframes the discussion about the so-called “hidden fuel”, the IEA shows how energy efficiency has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build wealth, as reported by the Herald Sun.

IEA analysis has previously shown energy efficiency has the potential to boost economic growth while reducing energy demand. But despite the vital role that energy efficiency could play, IEA assessments suggest that under existing policies, two-thirds of the economically viable energy efficiency potential available between now and 2035 will remain unrealised. This is in part because energy efficiency is routinely and significantly undervalued.

The study, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, challenges the assumption that the broader benefits of energy efficiency cannot be quantified, as reported by the Herald Sun.

It shows how it is possible to move beyond qualitative assessments, providing examples of how existing methodological tools can be applied to measure and even monetise the value of energy efficiency to the economy and society.