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Why Solar may not be the biggest threat to energy utilities

This article from @reneweconomy explores the growth of the “negawatt” (an amount of energy unused due to greater efficiency or demand management) over the megawatt – as an emerging focus for telco & technology companies who see the economic and market potential of software and gadgets that reduce demand on centralised fossil fuel generation.

At a glance: 

“The International Energy Agency estimates that energy efficiency measures have, since 1974, saved around two-thirds of the energy that might otherwise have been consumed. This “decoupling” of energy use and GDP growth, says HSBC, means that each billion of global GDP required almost 40 per cent less energy in 2012 than it did in 2002.”

In all the scenarios painted by the IEA and others on tackling climate change, cutting pollution, decarbonising electricity and saving money – creating “negawatts” rather than adding “megawatts” – is absolutely key in extending the so-called “carbon budget”.

“HSBC says there are four reasons why governments would want to encourage energy efficiency: energy security, industrial competitiveness and decarbonisation and pollution goals. It says energy efficiency is widely recognised as the most powerful tool to meet the challenges of energy demand and security. It can also help meet decarbonisation targets along with enhancing economic competitiveness.”

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