Energy Efficient Countries – So which are the most energy efficient countries in the world?
Why are countries inclined to become more energy efficient:
- Saves money
- Improves the economy
- It is good for the environment
- Improves national security
- Enhances quality of life
What does it mean by being ‘Energy Efficient’?
Energy efficiency means when an appliance is using less energy to provide the same service. For example, a LED bulb is more efficient than a traditional halogen bulb as it uses much less electrical energy to produce the same amount of light. Energy efficiency is always a good idea. Whether it results in energy savings, depends on what we do with the money we saved. In some cases, savings can be offset by changes in user behaviour – the ‘rebound effect’. The rebound effect is the reduction in expected gains from new technologies.
The rebound effect increases the efficiency of resource use. One example would be that insulating a home may make it more economic for the resident to maintain a higher temperature, increasing the standard of comfort but reducing the energy savings.
Never the less, improving energy efficiency is a key way for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, along with energy saving and low-carbon energy sources such as renewable and carbon capture plus energy storage.
So which are the most energy efficient countries?
Some energy efficient countries in the world are trying hard to ensure that they can save as much money on energy, decrease as much possible energy used and their effect on the environment. Some countries have set their goals to becoming more energy efficient. Germany has been ranked the most energy efficient in the world.
When speaking of Germany, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “German efficiency.” Meaning, it is not surprising to find Germany on top of this list. According to a recent study published by the American Council, Germany was the best country overall for energy efficiency, scoring high in multiple categories for a total score of 65 points out of 100 on their study.
Industry in Germany has the lowest energy intensity of any country except Australia and 13% of electricity is generated with combined heat and power. Germany’s ranking in the world is due to the fact, 15 years ago, German politicians agreed to gradually wean the country off fossil fuels and nuclear energy. This has improved the countries’ efficiency as fossil fuels and nuclear energy are two of the most damaging ways to generate energy, so by removing these processes will improve the efficiency of the country as a whole. Along with these they have reduced coal and oil usage. It has clearly been working so far as in 2014 alone Germany accounted for half of the EU’s wind farms.
Because of Germany’s success in creating an energy efficient country they have saved money to spend elsewhere. But that’s not all they are preventing harmful gases being released into the atmosphere. Hence they have contributed to reducing climate change and global warming. This at this moment is a concern in the world. For more knowledge on this topic view my previous blog on climate change.
Closely behind Germany in the ranking is Italy. This is because, according to its national energy plan, Italy plans to increase renewable power generation from all renewable sources, to 26% of all electricity produced by 2020. This will cover 17% of its total energy consumption. We can see this plan has already been put into place, as in 2014, 38.2% of the national electric energy usage came from renewable sources. Italy has abandoned nuclear power following a referendum in the aftermath of the 1987 Chernobyl disaster. The nuclear power in Italy has never been greater than a few percent of total power generation. This indicates that this disaster could have benefited the country. This is because, now they have realised the damaging effects on the world as a whole not just as individual countries.
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