Investing in energy efficiency could save the UK 196TWh – equivalent to the output of 22 1GW power stations operating around the clock – by 2020, according to a new Energy Efficiency Strategy published by the UK Government.
The strategy, aimed at changing the way that energy is used in the UK, includes immediate actions, such as the creation of five centres, at a cost of £39m, that will examine what drives energy demand and how this behaviour could be changed.
“We have put energy efficiency at the very heart of the Government’s energy policy,” says Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker. “Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices.”
Around 22% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from industrial processes and a further 18% from non-domestic buildings. According to the strategy document, significant reductions in non-domestic emissions will therefore be needed if the UK is to meet its target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.
The UK’s energy efficiency sector already accounts for 136,000 jobs and had sales worth £17.6bn in 2010/11. Sales have grown by more than 4% a year since 2007/08 and are expected to expand by around 5% a year in the period to 2014/15.