Around two-thirds of energy efficiency potential will be unrealised between now and 2035 under existing policies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
It believes that’s partly because energy efficiency is “routinely and significantly undervalued”.
The IEA’s new report says the benefits of energy efficiency “go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand”.
It shows energy efficiency has the potential to support economic and social growth, advance environmental sustainability as well as ensure energy system security.
The analysis predicts uptake of energy efficiency investments to boost economic output through 2035 by $18 trillion – larger than the current size of the economies of the US, Canada and Mexico combined.
Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director said: “This report lays out the case for governments to invest more time in measuring the impacts of energy efficiency policies, to improve understanding of their role in boosting economic and social development and to facilitate policy design that maximises the benefits prioritised by each country.”
Investment in the energy efficiency market reached $300 billion in 2012.