Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency
Energy-related emissions represent two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Immediate action is needed to start putting the world on a path to net-zero emissions, as per the Paris Agreement. Renewable energy and energy efficiency will work in synergy to drive global energy decarbonisation. When pursued together, they result in higher shares of renewable energy, a faster reduction in energy intensity, and lower energy system costs. This also brings environmental and social benefits, such as less air pollution. This working paper by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) considers how renewables and energy efficiency can work together to contribute to global energy decarbonisation by 2050. It also looks and how this synergy affects energy system and technology cost, and the effect it has on air pollution and avoidance of adverse health effects caused by these pollutants. The paper looks in detail at the five largest energy users – China, Germany, India, Japan and the United States – up to 2030. Together, these five countries represent two-thirds of the G20’s primary energy supply and around half of global energy demand.