US Ranks Behind China in Energy Efficiency

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Among the 23 nations that consume 75% of the world’s energy and generate more than 80% of global gross domestic product, Germany ranks at the top for energy efficiency, followed by Italy and Japan, tied for second place. The United States ranks eighth, tied with South Korea, behind France, the United Kingdom, China and Spain.

The rankings were put together by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and are based on a country’s scores in four categories that included a total of 35 policy and performance metrics. A maximum score of 25 was allocated to each category, and policy actions were weighted more heavily than performance. The ACEEE’s report provides a wealth of detail on how country scores were calculated.

Top-scoring Germany amassed 73.5 points, while Italy and Japan both scored 68.5. Sixth-ranked China totaled 64 points, and the United States scored 61. The lowest score came from Saudi Arabia with just 15.5 points, less than half the total put up by next-to-last Brazil with 32.5 points.

Based solely on performance metrics, the top scoring country was Japan with a total of 28.5 points out of a possible 40. The United States scored 20 points, tied for 15th with Mexico and Russia. China scored 22 in performance measurements, tied for ninth with Poland.

Based on policy metrics, Germany posted the top score of 48.5 followed by France and Italy, both of which scored 44.5. The United States ranked fifth, with a score of 41.5, just behind number four China, which scored 42.

China, with its population of about 1.36 billion, consumed a total of 3,000 million metric tons of oil equivalent (ktoe) followed by U.S. consumption of 2,188 ktoe. India, with a population of 1.28 billion, was third, consuming 775 ktoe. China and the United States essentially tied for consumption in buildings with 470 ktoe, while China’s industrial consumption of 957 ktoe was more than three¬†times industrial consumption in the United States, the second largest industrial consumer.

U.S. transportation consumption was 607 ktoe, more than double China’s second-ranked total of 258 ktoe. No other country rose above 100 ktoe in this category.

The ACEEE concluded:

Our results indicate that there are substantial opportunities for improvement in all the economies evaluated in this report. The average score was just 51 points. Low-scoring developing countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, and Mexico have great potential to build energy efficiency into their continued economic growth by implementing policies in their industrial, buildings, and transportation sectors. Their more developed counterparts could lead by example and implement ambitious policies that will further reduce energy consumption.

The full ACEEE report is available here.

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