Energy efficiency markets deliver goods and services that aim to reduce the energy required to fuel the economy. IEA estimates that investment in energy efficiency markets worldwide in 2012 was between USD 310 billion and USD 360 billion, distributed unevenly across countries and energy-consuming sectors (buildings, domestic appliances, transport and industry)1.
The global need for energy efficiency is driven by multiple trends. Energy prices are one of the key drivers behind the expansion of the energy efficiency market. High prices for oil and gas have stimulated technological innovation, enhanced energy efficiency in various sectors, and provided incentives for investments in energy efficiency. Dependency on imported energy is another trend that has gained attention lately, especially within the European Union. By reducing its reliance on increasingly scarce fuels and materials through energy efficiency, the EU can increase energy security and reduce vulnerability to oil shocks.
These trends have also enabled the creation of policies aiming to reduce market barriers impeding energy efficiency investments and empowering consumers to move to resource-efficient consumption. For example, European Commission has launched a flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe under the Europe 2020 strategy. The Finnish national energy efficiency plan includes measures in different sectors resulting in energy savings of over 50 TWh by 2020, which means that Finland is on its way to achieve the EU energy efficiency targets.
1IEA. Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. Available: http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf
2 Energiatehokkuuden kehittyminen Suomessa. Arviot menneisyydestä ja tulevaisuudesta. VTT 2014.