Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency: New IRENA working paper

25 Aug 2017

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a new working paper examining the promising synergies between energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency together have the potential to significantly contribute to global energy decarbonisation by 2050. Indeed, paired with energy efficiency, renewable energy can mitigate over 90% of energy sector emissions by 2050[1], as well as conferring other environmental and social benefits such as reduced air pollution. Maximising synergies, however, requires a deeper understanding of the existing potential at different levels, from countries and sectors down to technologies. Most of all, it calls for a system-wide perspective to consider the inter-linkages between them. “Rethinking our energy sector is the key to addressing carbon emissions,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre.

The paper both explores and proposes actions for strengthening the synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency, including how synergies can affect the energy system, technology costs, and help avoid adverse health effects caused by air pollutants. It is based on a detailed analysis of five large energy users – China, Germany, India, Japan and the United States – up to 2030.

The study is a welcome addition and highlights the need for both renewable energy and energy efficiency to think beyond their boundaries to enhance their impacts.

To download the report click here.