World energy survey

USA: Germany has come out on top in a new energy efficiency survey of the world’s largest economies which sees the USA trailing.

In its latest International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) analysed the world’s 16 largest economies covering more than 81% of global gross domestic product and responsible for about 71% of global electricity consumption. 31 metrics were considered, divided roughly in half between policies and quantifiable performance to evaluate how efficiently these economies use energy.

Germany returned the highest overall score, with 65 out of 100 possible points. The top-scoring countries in each category were China in buildings, Germany in industry, Italy in transportation, and a three-way tie between France, Italy, and the European Union in national efforts.

According to the ACEEE, the results indicate that while some countries are significantly outperforming others, there are substantial opportunities for improvement in all economies analysed. The conditions required for a perfect score are currently achievable and in practice somewhere on the globe. For every metric, at least one country (and often several) received full points. However, every country also has serious weaknesses, and the average score was just 50 points.

ACEEE’s home country comes in for the most criticism. While accepting that the United States has made some progress toward greater energy efficiency in recent years, with new building codes, appliance standards, partnerships between government and industry, and new fuel economy standards for vehicles, it sees the the overall story as “disappointing”.

Although considered an innovative and competitive world leader, the report says limited progress has been made since the last International Scorecard in 2012. In contrast, it sees countries including Germany, Japan, and China, surging ahead.

The overall U.S. score  of 42 is less than half of the possible points and is 23 points away from the top spot. Further, the United States falls behind Canada, Australia, India and South Korea.