Germany leads Italy and Japan, which are tied for second place, as the world’s leading energy efficiency nations, according to new figures from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy published its 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard this week, now in its third edition. The Scorecard examines the energy efficiency policies and performance of 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries — which together account for 75% of all the energy consumed on the planet — and ranks them accordingly.
Ranked from 1-23, based on a scale of 100 possible points across 35 categories, the countries were ranked as follows:
Germany (1), Italy (2, tied), Japan (2, tied), France (4), UK (5), China (6), Spain (7), South Korea (8, tied), United States (8, tied), Canada (10), Netherlands (11), Poland (12), Taiwan (13), India (14), Turkey (15), Australia (16), Russia (17), Indonesia (18), Mexico (19), Thailand (20), South Africa (21), Brazil (22), Saudi Arabia (23).
“Energy efficiency is often the lowest-cost means of meeting new demand for energy,” said Steven Nadel, ACEEE Executive Director. “Governments that encourage investment in energy efficiency and implement supporting policies save citizens money, reduce dependence on energy imports, and reduce pollution. Yet energy efficiency remains massively underutilized globally, despite its proven multiple benefits and its potential to become the single largest resource to meet growing energy demand worldwide.”
There has been a bit of movement between the second (released in 2014) and third editions of the Scorecard. Japan moved from 6 to 2, the United States moved from 13 to 8, while Australia dropped from 10 to 16. The US specifically benefited from a number of new metrics added to ACEEE’s measurement of energy efficiency, as well as the country’s improvements in energy intensity. However, there is still significant room to grow for the US.
“Despite its leadership on a number of policies, the United States falls behind most of the EU countries on our list in addition to China and Japan,” the authors noted. “The United States still has no binding energy savings goals, unlike Germany, France, Japan, and other countries which have a national energy conservation plan in place. The United States could take advantage of existing efficiency opportunities by mandating building energy use disclosure polices and categorical labels for appliances.”
Germany maintained its first position from 2014, as it ensures energy efficiency remains a top policy priority.
“Energy Efficiency plays a key role in Germany’s energy policy, the Energiewende, which aims to achieve a highly efficient and almost carbon neutral economy by 2050 at the latest,” said Georg Maue, German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Senior Advisor for General Issues of Energy Efficiency.
“Our latest program, the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), focuses on innovative industrial processes, energy-efficient buildings and products, and long-term investments. We are happy and grateful that ACEEE honors German efforts in its report. However, we will continue to step up our efforts, as there is a long way to go for us to reach our target of reducing the energy demand by 50% by 2050.”
Italy also managed to hold onto its second position from 2014, joined this year by Japan.
“We are proud to have maintained the second position in this third edition of the 2016 ACEEE International Energy Efficiency Scorecard,” said Mauro Mallone, Italian Ministry of Economic Development Head of Energy Efficiency Division. “The “silver medal” won by Italy is a recognition of the efforts made by the country to promote energy efficiency and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. This award is particularly appreciated as it comes from an independent assessment based on a complex set of policy and performance metrics.”