Energy efficiency

Enhancing energy efficiency may be one of the most promising, and most immediate, ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Wasted energy contributes to global warming and higher energy costs. Squeezing the most out of energy resources can save money and have a major impact on the fight against climate change. Promoting the use of low energy light bulbs, and setting tougher standards for cars, factories, power plants, and building heating systems are some of the ways energy efficiency can be improved.

Energy efficiency in industry is improving in major industrialized and developing countries. While there was a decline in global energy intensity of more than 28 per cent during the past decade, global investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy reached a record $100 billion in 2006. A wide variety of energy efficiency policies and programmes have been implemented in many countries to increase productivity while reducing energy consumption.

Nonetheless, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies face a number of barriers in the marketplace, such as lack of public awareness and lack of viable financing models. DESA has also been active in technical cooperation projects intended to promote more energy efficient refrigerators in China, as well as market transformation through appliance standards and labelling in India.

 

Case studies


  • 2007 - Energy Efficiency Program for Low-Income Households
    Summary:
    Since its creation in 1999, the Energy Efficiency Program for Low-Income Households has helped over 30,000 low-income households. The program provides customized advice and services aimed at improving...
  • 2007 - International Database of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Law
    Summary:
    The REEEP provided funding to the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Colorado at Boulder's "International Sustainable Energy Assessment" (ISEA). The funding allowed the I...
  • 2007 - Building Energy Efficiency Codes in Russia and Kazakhstan
    Summary:
    The focus of the IMT project team has been the development and implementation of performance-based energy codes for new and renovated buildings. Using a model developed by the IMT team, 53 Russian reg...
  • 2007 - Financing Energy-Efficient Street Lighting in India
    Summary:
    Street lighting represents a significant proportion of energy consumption in India, and the burden of providing the service falls on the electricity boards of each state. In several municipalities, th...
  • 2007 - Barrier Removal for Residential Energy Efficiency
    Summary:
    The REEEP recognizes the need for increased energy efficiency within the built environment, particularly in multifamily buildings where there is a high concentration of vulnerable (low income) househo...
  • 2007 - Promoting Low-Energy Building Programme in China
    Summary:
    Based on the national energy efficiency strategy from the government, 60% of energy in the building sector is lost due to the outdated standards and design practices. In order to reduce energy consum...
  • 2006 - Aisha Solar Cooking Project
    Summary:
    In 1990, nearly 14,000 refugees from Somalia settled in Aisha refugee camp in a very arid region of eastern Ethiopia, putting a strain on the environment and reducing tree cover as they collected wood...
  • 2006 - Energy Star ®
    Summary:
    The international mark denoting products with outstanding energy efficiency has been introduced into NZ. Consumers can save on their households and business power bills by choosing Energy Star ® pro...
  • 2006 - Ecoinvent
    Summary:
    In the last decade, several different databases for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) have been developed in Switzerland. The Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories combines and extends the different Life ...
  • 2006 - Heavy Vehicle Fee
    Summary:
    The Heavy Vehicle Fee (HVF) is levied on heavy-duty vehicles (over 3.5 tones) in order to partially internal-ize the external costs of freight transport, to encour-age the switch of the transfer of go...
 

Partnerships


  • Mediterranean Partnership for sustainable energy development (MEDITEP)
    Lead Partner:
    Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Energie (OME)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Regional  
    Summary:
    The Southern Mediterranean region is facing high demographic and socio-economic development growths. In this context, energy demand is expected to increase. Presently, 83% of TPES in the region is satisfied by hydrocarbons. According to the OME BAU scenario, this will continue (annual increase of about 4.3% during 2005-2020). Consequently, CO2 emissions are expected to rise by 240% over the same p...
  • Pacific Islands Energy for Sustainable Development [PIESD]
    Lead Partner:
    Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) - South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Sub-regional Pacific 
    Summary:
    The main objectives are: * Increased availability of adequate, affordable and environmentally sound energy for the sustainable development of all Pacific islanders. * Accelerate the transfer and adoption of clean and renewable energy technologies. * The partnership is to assist with the implementation of the Pacific Island Energy Policy (PIEP....
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)
    Lead Partner:
    REEEP International Secretariat  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Accelerate a global market for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Systems (REES). Tremendous financial resources from the private and public sector will be needed to meet developing and transition countries' future energy demand in a sustainable way. Obstacles prohibiting this development include a lack of reliable policies and regulatory measures, and the perceived high risk and low retu...
  • Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP)
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Japan - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. - Government of United States of America - U.S. Enivronmental Protection Agency (USEPA) - CLASP Secretariat - UNDP-GEF - United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) - United Nations Foundation (UNF)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Energy efficiency standards and labels (S&L) for appliances, equipment and lighting are the most cost-effective means to help countries limit energy demand while stimulating economic growth. The overall result of S&L is to reduce required investments in power plants and reduce fuel consumption for their operation with powerful economic gains (e.g., freeing up capital for investments in non-energy...
  • U.S. Energy Association / U.S. Agency for International Development Energy Partnership Program
    Lead Partner:
    U.S. Energy Association  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    These partnerships provide an invaluable opportunity for senior executives of overseas utilities and regulatory agencies to observe and learn how their U.S. counterparts are structured, financed, managed and regulated. The program also enables U.S. energy executives to understand the dynamics of non-U.S. energy markets and to forge international strategic alliances. Partnership Benefits ...
  • Cities for Climate Protection Campaign
    Lead Partner:
    Local Government of Cities of Buenos Aires and Avellameda - Local Government of City of Graz - 7 Brazilian Local Governments - 133 Canadian Local Governments - Local Government of City of Tome - Local Government of City of Krnov - Local Government of City of Copenhagen - 46 Finnish Local Governments - 8 German Local Governments - Local Government of City of Kallithea - Local Government of Cities of Budapest and Miskolc - 17 Indian Local Governments - 10 Indonesian Local Governments - 7 Italian Local Governments - 4 Japanese Local Governments - 8 Mexican Local Governments - Local Government of Cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam - 17 New Zealand Local Governments - 14 Philippines' Local Governments - Local Government of City of Gdansk - Local Government of Cities of Almeda and Lisbon - 12 South African Local Governments - Local Government of City of Barcelona - Local Government of Cities of Goteborg, Stockholm and Vaxjo - 6 Thai Local Governments - 55 U.K. Local Governments - 159 U.S. Local Governments  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The Cities for Climate ProtectionTM (CCP) Campaign enlists cities to adopt policies and implement measures to achieve quantifiable reductions in local greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and enhance urban livability and sustainability. More than 650 local governments participate in the CCP, integrating climate change mitigation into their decision-making processes. ICLEI runs this highl...
  • PEPS - Promoting an Energy-efficient Public Sector
    Lead Partner:
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    Government facilities and services -- national and local -- are often the largest energy users within a country, and government "leadership by example" can be a powerful driver for a national energy efficiency strategy. Every country has important opportunities for more efficient energy management in government facilities and operations such as roads and transit, water and wastewater, and other p...
  • Fostering Regional Energy Cooperation in APEC: Energy for Sustainable Development.
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Australia - Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources - Government of Mexico - Secretaria de Energia  
    Geographical Scope:
    Regional  
    Summary:
    The United Nations Economic and Social Councils notes that: "Access to energy is crucial to economic and social development, and alleviation of poverty. Improving accessibility of energy implies finding ways and means by which energy services can be delivered reliably, affordably and in an environmentally sound and socially acceptable manner, particularly in meeting the energy requirements of dev...
  • The Electricity Governance Initiative
    Lead Partner:
    National Institute of Public Finance and Policy - Prayas Energy Group - World Resources Institute  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The Electricity Governance Initiative seeks to enhance global understanding of electricity sector governance, and build the capacity of governments and civil society to implement good governance. The electricity sector globally has undergone fundamental transformations over the past decade. With new forms of organization, ownership, and technologies have come new and complicated questions about h...
  • Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD)
    Lead Partner:
    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The objective of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) is to make it easier for Members to contribute to the provision of environmentally sound energy services underpinning sustainable development. The Network does so by supporting amongst its Members information exchange, learning, analysis and study, policy support, and capacity building. Results expected include: 1...