Australia's energy productivity lags behind other developed countries across many sectors of the economy and that there are significant opportunities to save energy and cut costs with a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy, according to this report. The report shows that in many sectors of the economy developed and developing countries are more competitive in energy productivity, spurring the need for public and private action.
The Climate Institute commissioned McLennan Magasanik Associates (MMA) to review national energy efficiency options for Australia. Stage 1 of this study, this report, analyses Australia’s energy profile and assesses barriers and opportunities for energy efficiency.
Other findings were that among OECD countries studied Australia:
• has the third most energy hungry economy - with only Canada and US worse performers
• has the third highest energy use for passenger kilometres travelled
• improved its service sector efficiency by only 6% between 1990 and 2004. In contrast Germany achieved 43%, and the UK 23%
The report identified potential priority policy actions on information, performance standards and financial support. It finds the case for intervention is strong during the initial period of emissions trading. Mandatory targets could also be justified if an emissions trading scheme starts with soft or capped carbon price signals – an option considered by the Garnaut Review’s Draft Report.