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Energy efficiency potentials for global climate change mitigation


  • Masahiro Sugiyama


  • Osamu Akashi


  • Kenichi Wada


  • Amit Kanudia


  • Jun Li


  • John Weyant



Energy efficiency is one of the main options for mitigating climate change. An accurate representation of various mechanisms of energy efficiency is vital for the assessment of its realistic potential. Results of a questionnaire show that the EMF27 models collectively represent known channels of energy efficiency reasonably well, addressing issues of energy efficiency barriers and rebound effects. The majority of models, including general equilibrium models, have an explicit end-use representation for the transportation sector. All participating partial equilibrium models have some capability of reflecting the actual market behavior of consumers and firms. The EMF27 results show that energy intensity declines faster under climate policy than under a baseline scenario. With a climate policy roughly consistent with a global warming of two degrees, the median annual improvement rate of energy intensity for 2010–2030 reaches 2.3 % per year [with a full model range of 1.3–2.9 %/yr], much faster than the historical rate of 1.3 % per year. The improvement rate increases further if technology is constrained. The results suggest that the target of the United Nations’ “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative is consistent with the 2-degree climate change target, as long as there are no technology constraints. The rate of energy intensity decline varies significantly across models, with larger variations at the regional and sectoral levels. Decomposition of the transportation sector down to a service level for a subset of models reveals that to achieve energy efficiency, a general equilibrium model tends to reduce service demands while partial equilibrium models favor technical substitution. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Masahiro Sugiyama & Osamu Akashi & Kenichi Wada & Amit Kanudia & Jun Li & John Weyant, 2014. "Energy efficiency potentials for global climate change mitigation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 397-411, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:123:y:2014:i:3:p:397-411
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0874-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hillard G. Huntington, 2011. "The Policy Implications of Energy-Efficiency Cost Curves," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
    2. Hillard Huntington and Eric Smith, 2011. "Mitigating Climate Change Through Energy Efficiency: An Introduction and Overview," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
    3. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    4. Murphy, Rose & Jaccard, Mark, 2011. "Energy efficiency and the cost of GHG abatement: A comparison of bottom-up and hybrid models for the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7146-7155.
    5. David McCollum & Nico Bauer & Katherine Calvin & Alban Kitous & Keywan Riahi, 2014. "Fossil resource and energy security dynamics in conventional and carbon-constrained worlds," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 413-426, April.
    6. Wada, Kenichi & Akimoto, Keigo & Sano, Fuminori & Oda, Junichiro & Homma, Takashi, 2012. "Energy efficiency opportunities in the residential sector and their feasibility," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 5-10.
    7. Richard B. Howarth & Alan H. Sanstad, 1995. "Discount Rates And Energy Efficiency," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 101-109, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Intaek Yoon & YeonSang Lee & Sohyun Kate Yoon, 2017. "An empirical analysis of energy efficiency measures applicable to cities, regions, and local governments, based on the case of South Korea’s local energy saving program," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 22(6), pages 863-878, August.
    2. Tongsopit, Sopitsuda & Kittner, Noah & Chang, Youngho & Aksornkij, Apinya & Wangjiraniran, Weerin, 2016. "Energy security in ASEAN: A quantitative approach for sustainable energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 60-72.
    3. Edelenbosch, O.Y. & Kermeli, K. & Crijns-Graus, W. & Worrell, E. & Bibas, R. & Fais, B. & Fujimori, S. & Kyle, P. & Sano, F. & van Vuuren, D.P., 2017. "Comparing projections of industrial energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions in long-term energy models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 701-710.
    4. Guivarch, Céline & Monjon, Stéphanie, 2017. "Identifying the main uncertainty drivers of energy security in a low-carbon world: The case of Europe," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 530-541.
    5. Edelenbosch, O.Y. & van Vuuren, D.P. & Blok, K. & Calvin, K. & Fujimori, S., 2020. "Mitigating energy demand sector emissions: The integrated modelling perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 261(C).
    6. Sugiyama, Masahiro & Fujimori, Shinichiro & Wada, Kenichi & Endo, Seiya & Fujii, Yasumasa & Komiyama, Ryoichi & Kato, Etsushi & Kurosawa, Atsushi & Matsuo, Yuhji & Oshiro, Ken & Sano, Fuminori & Shira, 2019. "Japan's long-term climate mitigation policy: Multi-model assessment and sectoral challenges," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 1120-1131.

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