Eleven percent of global energy demand was cut last year through policies of many countries geared towards energy efficiency said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris based energy think tank, the International Energy Association (IEA).
“If energy consumption growth is slowing in many countries, it is thanks to energy-efficiency policies that tamper demand growth as more value and productivity is extracted from each unit of energy,” said Birol.
The implication of this is that many economies can still see growth without a parallel rise in energy demand. Birol said the 11 percent energy saved is the equivalent of the total energy demand in the European Union.
Experts have urged Nigeria to ramp up energy efficiencies to reduce demand. The European Union, German government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said Nigeria’s recently launched the Building Energy Efficiency Guideline (BEEG) could save 40 percent of energy cost.
Through the partnership with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), which is managed by the EU and German government, and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (REEEP) of the USAID, Nigeria seeks to increase energy efficient applications in buildings.
Babatunde Fashola at the launch of the BEEG, said the guidelines should be a handbook for all professionals in the building sector including architects, engineers, builders, quantity surveyors and town planners, to enable them meet the realities of energy efficiency in buildings.
The IEA says India and China provide a study in energy efficiency. Through a programme called Ujala, the Hindi word for light, India is delivering the world’s largest roll-out of energy-efficient lighting.
Birol says over 230 million lights have been distributed thanks to a policy that lowers costs through bulk purchases and allows households to pay for the lights with the savings they make.
“This ground-breaking programme supports 35,000 jobs, and households see their electricity bills cut by 15 percent on average. In total, the electricity saved by these light bulbs is enough to power an extra million homes,” says the IEA chief.