With all the focus on renewable energy and alternative fuels, it seems that improving the energy efficiency of the technology we already have has fallen by the wayside.
According to the International Energy Agency [IEA], energy efficiency is the world’s most important fuel, and small investments into improving energy efficiency have a huge impact, reducing fuel consumption, reducing emissions, and saving money.
In a recent edition of the IEA Energy Efficiency Market Report, researchers assert that investment in energy efficiency could provide even more savings than any other form of energy generation. The report went on to say, “the scale of recent investment in energy efficiency worldwide makes it as significant in its contribution to energy demand as investment in renewable energy or fossil fuel generation.”
One of the problems with energy efficiency though, is that it’s pretty hiding in plain sight, right in front of everyone that uses any form of energy. The bigger problem is that our recent investments into energy efficiency have been forced on us. Instead of taking the initiative, we have the tendency to wait until the problems caused by our inefficient use of energy catch up with us.
Take, for example, the recent changes in legislation regulating light vehicle fuel economy and emissions. This actually started back in the 1970s, after the OPEC Oil Embargo jacked up the price of petroleum. Now that climate change has been linked to human activity, fuel economy and energy efficiency regulations are becoming even more strict. Interestingly, we’ve had the technology to make a 100mpg vehicle for decades. Even the Ford Model T, in 1908, got around 26mpg.
Energy efficiency is right in front of us, are we too complacent to just reach out and grab it?
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