Connect with us

Energy News

Meeting climate targets requires a rapid acceleration in the fuel economy of vehicles

Published

on

The fuel economy of the world’s cars and vans needs to improve massively in the coming years for the automotive industry to do its part to support global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency and key partners.

According to the latest edition of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative’s (GFEI) report on light-duty vehicle sales, global average fuel consumption has improved very slowly or even increased over the last few years in some major car markets such as the European Union and the United States. Globally, average fuel consumption declined just 0.9% over the past two years, helped by China where it fell on the back of stricter standards.

Given this slow overall global progress, achieving the GFEI’s target of halving fuel consumption of new cars and vans by 2030 relative to 2005 will require a near tripling of the average annual pace of improvement seen over the past 15 years. Fuel economy measures the distance a vehicle can travel per unit of a particular fuel, such as kilometres per litre, and is a key indicator of the greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions from the use of cars.

The GFEI report on light-duty vehicle sales is published by the IEA and its partners every two years. This year’s edition extends the scope to include for the first time a “well to wheel” analysis, which looks at emissions produced from the extraction, refining and processing of a fuel up to the point when it is consumed in a vehicle engine. For internal combustion engine cars, most emissions occur at their tailpipe (“tank to wheel”), while less than 20% of overall emissions are related to the production of their fuels (“well to tank”). By contrast, for battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, almost all the emissions are incurred in producing and delivering the electricity or hydrogen on which they run.

Countries around the world have historically set fuel economy standards with the aim of reducing the fuel consumption of vehicles over time. The slowing pace of improvement between 2017 and 2019 results from a number of factors. These include stagnating fuel economy standards in the US and the EU up to 2019; the rising market share of SUVs, which can use almost one-third more fuel than a medium-sized car; the rising cost of squeezing out further efficiency gains from mature technologies; and the slow adoption of more efficient alternative powertrains such as electric cars to compensate for larger vehicles.

The analysis in the new report shows that in practically all countries in 2019, battery electric vehicles had the lowest emissions, followed by plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles have the lowest well-to-wheel emissions among vehicles with internal combustion engines using gasoline, diesel or compressed natural gas. By 2030, the difference is set to be even starker because the production of electricity and hydrogen becomes less emissions-intensive as low-carbon sources increasingly displace fossil fuels.

The new report includes several recommendations to improve fuel consumption trends, such as stronger policies to increase the market share of efficient zero emissions cars, to foster technological advances in vehicles using mainly gasoline or diesel, and to discourage the trend of ever-increasing vehicle size and power.

GFEI is a partnership between the IEA, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) the International Transport Forum of the OECD (ITF), the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the University of California-Davis and the FIA Foundation. It runs projects and produces research to support government policies aimed at cleaner and more efficient vehicles.

Continue Reading
Comments

Energy News

Colombia’s energy districts: an example for the region

Published

on

image: UNIDO

An energy district is a local institution that leads, implements and accelerates a locally-owned, inclusive and clean energy transition. In the process, energy districts create local jobs and retain and grow wealth, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and air pollution.

Colombia is a pioneer South American country in the promotion of this approach. Beginning in 2013, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), together with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), has been implementing an energy districts project in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (Minambiente) and the public utility of the city of Medellín (Empresas Publicas de Medellín – EPM).

In its second phase, beginning in 2019, the project has been working closely with national and city-level authorities and stakeholders to improve and implement national and sub-national policy and regulatory frameworks to promote further development of energy districts; reinforce knowledge and capacities for energy districts of all market players; and provide technical assistance to some 10 selected cities so that they can include energy districts in their urban planning and support the realization of two-three near-future mature projects.

From the 17-19 November, the UNIDO project and partners, ACAIRE (Colombian Association for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) and CIDARE, the Centre of Research and Development in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration hosted the Third International Conference for Energy Districts, a virtual event bringing together national and international experts from industry and academia, and representatives from the public sector and international organizations.

Carlos Eduardo Correa, Colombia’sMinister of Environment and Sustainable Development, stated that the conference was the ideal scenario to show the achievements of the country in the implementation of district energy as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“All of our actions, plans, projects and regulations, are geared towards the achievements of the Nationally Determined Contributions, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and, at the same time, the contribution of low-carbon development. Here, Colombia has an important experience and is an example for the region,” he stated.

The progress of district energy in Colombia and the region, the importance of their implementation in urban planning, energy maps and clean energy transition, the mechanisms to finance these projects and the use of renewable energies in their execution, were some of the main topics addressed by more than 30 national and international speakers during the three days of discussions.

“The implementation of the project has, as a main component, the sustainability of knowledge and capacities in Colombia. That is why the support and work with academia are fundamental to strengthen the capacities of all the actors in the value chain and promote the education of professionals in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency, among others,” noted Alex Saer, Director of Climate Change and Risk Management at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

The conference was also the opportunity to celebrate the awards of the Second Competition for Universities in District Energy, with the objective of designing a business model for the sale of thermal energy applied to residential users.

The contest, which had the participation of eight universities from Colombia, awarded the first-place winner team with  fully funded attendance to the International District Energy Association Campus Energy in Boston in February 2022.

Continue Reading

Energy News

Global energy efficiency progress is recovering – but not quickly enough

Published

on

A rapid expansion of technologies and solutions that drive more efficient use of energy across the economy is necessary to keep global climate pledges within reach, according to a new IEA report, which urges governments to take the lead in mobilising the required increase in investment.

Global progress on energy efficiency has recovered this year to its pre-pandemic pace, but that was already well short of what would be needed to help put the world on track to reach net zero emissions by mid-century, according to Energy Efficiency 2021, the IEA’s annual market report on the topic. Total annual investment in energy efficiency worldwide needs to triple by 2030 to be consistent with a path towards reaching net zero emissions by 2050, as set out in the IEA’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050.

The IEA’s latest global assessment of market and policy trends in energy efficiency highlights the urgent need for stronger implementation of clean energy policies – with energy efficiency at their core – in order to reach international climate goals. This is the first update of the IEA’s energy efficiency market report since a raft of new spending commitments aimed at supporting the economic recovery were announced by governments over the course of 2021.

The report comes shortly after the end of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, whose final statement specifically called for the rapid scaling up of energy efficiency measures, recognising their key role in decarbonising energy systems. 

“We consider energy efficiency to be the ‘first fuel’ as it still represents the cleanest and, in most cases, the cheapest way to meet our energy needs. There is no plausible pathway to net zero emissions without using our energy resources much more efficiently,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “A step change in energy efficiency will give us a fighting chance of staving off the worst effects of climate change while creating millions of decent jobs and driving down energy bills.”

The report notes that governments have scaled up existing, employment-intensive efficiency programmes, but it also highlights that substantial potential for job creation remains untapped. For example, investments in the energy efficiency of buildings – a well-established driver of construction jobs – are expected to rise by 20% in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels. Even with this record level of spending, the report details how 4 million more jobs could be added by 2030 by further increasing spending on efficient buildings, appliances and other measures in line with the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.

After its worst year in a decade in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic shifted the centre of economic activity away from services and towards industry, the rate of improvement in global energy intensity – a key indicator of how efficiently the world’s economic activity uses energy – is expected to recover in 2021 to 1.9%. This is line with the average annual rate of improvement over the past 10 years but well below the 4% needed between 2020 and 2030 in the IEA’s pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

As energy efficiency offers some of the fastest and most cost-effective actions to reduce CO2 emissions, front-loading efficiency measures into net zero strategies will be crucial for closing the gap between climate ambitions and current trends. This year’s report examines over 40 energy efficiency milestones mapped out in the IEA Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 that can enhance efficiency and help get emission reductions on track.

In addition to well-developed energy efficiency policies such as appliance standards – which in some countries have avoided electricity usage equivalent to their total wind and solar power generation – the report also underlines the increasingly important role for digital technologies in energy efficiency’s future. Rapid uptake of digitally connected devices is helping to expand the scale and scope of benefits from energy efficiency, and can deliver a cheaper, easier and more cost effective clean energy transition.

Continue Reading

Energy News

Fatih Birol urges Middle Eastern producer economies to accelerate clean energy transition

Published

on

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol today received a lifetime achievement award at the major international energy industry conference ADIPEC, which is hosted by the United Arab Emirates. The award was presented by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, in recognition of Dr Birol’s long-standing work assessing the global energy sector and providing clarity on how it can adapt to the clean energy transition.

The acknowledgement of Dr Birol’s efforts to advance the clean energy transition comes at a time when the IEA is multiplying its efforts to build a broad coalition to accelerate global climate action that includes the oil and gas exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It also comes after the recent announcement that the United Arab Emirates will host the COP28 Climate Change Conference in 2023, after Egypt hosts COP27 next year.

“I would like to congratulate Fatih Birol on a truly well-deserved recognition of his lifetime’s commitment across the energy landscape. His understanding of how the whole energy system fits together is unparalleled. Moreover, his practical approach to ensuring sustainable development is having – and will continue to have – a positive, powerful impact on how the world makes an equitable and orderly transition to the energy system of the future,” said Sultan Al Jaber in presenting the award to Dr Birol in Abu Dhabi.

“The global warming that is already affecting us all worldwide is especially treacherous for Middle Eastern and North African countries – some are experiencing warming at a far higher rate than the global average. The region is today going through its worst drought in over 900 years,” Dr Birol said in his acceptance speech during the awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi. He underscored the need for oil and gas producing economies to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and rapidly shift towards cleaner alternatives.

“More than at any other point in recent history, fundamental changes to the economic model of resource-rich countries look unavoidable. The future will look very different from the past,” he told the audience. “That is why it is so important that we work together. We need to deploy traditional strengths in support of economic diversification and low-carbon transformation. First movers – countries that take a proactive approach to this – could do especially well.”

In his remarks, Dr Birol highlighted that the IEA’s work with multiple countries across the region centres on supporting efforts to decarbonise energy systems while also securing the economic benefits that the clean energy transition can bring.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Southeast Asia13 mins ago

Local Wisdom Brings Everybody Towards Sustainability

Climate change, carbon emission, zero waste, circular economy, and sustainability. If you are anywhere on the internet just like 62%...

Africa2 hours ago

China will donate 1 billion covid-19 vaccines to Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping  during his keynote speech, via video link, at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference...

nagorno karabakh nagorno karabakh
Eastern Europe4 hours ago

Shifting Geography of the South Caucasus

One year since the end of the second Nagorno-Karabakh war allows us to wrap up major changes in and around...

Tech News6 hours ago

Uzbek home appliance manufacturer Artel joins United Nations Global Compact

This week, Artel Electronics LLC (Artel), Central Asia’s largest home appliance and electronics manufacturer, has become an official participant of...

Multimedia8 hours ago

Afghanistan: The Humanitarian Imperative Must Come First to Avoid Catastrophe | podcast

The international community must urgently step-up direct funding through United Nations agencies and NGOs to provide Afghan girls & boys...

Multimedia11 hours ago

Being Black in the Bundestag | podcast

The official dress down as Chancellor for Angela Merkel is in full swing. Recently, the first significant step that would...

Multimedia12 hours ago

Vaccine Passports Mandated in the New World Order | podcast

At this moment in western democracies, we are passing into a period of great unrest -social, political, and corporate where...

Trending