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If all comparatively inefficient large buildings were brought up to the median energy use intensity in their category, New York City could reduce energy consumption in large buildings by roughly 18 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, the report says. Office buildings account for a quarter of the square footage surveyed but just 11 percent of the total number of surveyed buildings. Energy Manager Today is a leading energy management news and industry analysis resource, featuring daily trade publication news to keep corporate executives fully informed. Energy management news, policy and industry analysis by Business Sector Media, LLC - Copyright ©2016, all rights reserved. JoNovaA science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages). Australia  (orange line second from the bottom) has a lower energy intensity of use than many countries (see below for more information). Ross Garnaut (and dozens of others) claim Australia has a high emissions intensity of energy use. The high emissions intensity of energy use in Australia is mainly the result of our reliance on coal for electricity.
Mike Wilson has found the statistics that expose the myth that Australian  is a high energy intensity nation.
There are three reasons that claims that Australia is a massive per capita consumer of energy, are irrelevant.
Australia produces largely energy intensive goods for export, and therefore taxing the energy sources makes our domestic producers less competitive on the world market.
Australia is not the end user of much of the energy she consumes … much of it is destined for overseas consumers. People keep carping on about Australia being a high consumer of energy on a per capita basis.
It is a tad difficult to make out the trends when China dominates the graphic (note the downward trend in China’s energy IU mentioned earlier). By removing China it’s possible to see just how low Australian Energy Intensity Use is. Now the key question … how much energy is embodied in the exports and imports from Australia? Australia a massive net exporter of energy products, but we are also a massive net energy exporter in terms of energy embodied in other goods (primarily metals and petroleum products). I would highly recommend reading Tony Abbott’s piece in The Australian as he touches on many of the points I have covered. For more than three years now I have been trying to dispel this bogus myth of per capita CO2 emissions. For so long now those people pushing this agenda have pointed to that as an accusing finger, when it is a completely false argument. It’s not because we are environmental vandals, but because we here in Australia, every one of us, has access to a constant and reliable supply of electrical power in every aspect of our lives, while in China, almost a Billion people have no access whatsoever to any electricity at all at a household level, let alone having access to a constant and reliable supply.
Either we allow them to reach the standard that we already have, or we go back and join them as they are now. Increased energy efficiency increases energy use by releasing funds that the energy users spend on additional activities which also use energy. According to David Cameron, an agreement forged with India to cut CO2 emissions will create million of jobs and moreover “we will position the UK [as] a leading player in the global low-carbon economy, creating significant new industries and jobs”. In the past, old jobs were destroyed, and people left behind, as they were on Merseyside, because of the hard reality of economics. At risk of possibly being rebuffed — why are we debating these things when it is so bloody obvious that CO2 just plain doesn’t matter?
Not only is the science unsettled, the justification for a carbon dioxide tax is also misplaced. To mitigate growth in building energy consumption, declines in energy use intensity for both residential and commercial buildings must outpace additions of square footage. Petroleum & Other LiquidsCrude oil, gasoline, heating oil, diesel, propane, and other liquids including biofuels and natural gas liquids. Natural GasExploration and reserves, storage, imports and exports, production, prices, sales.
ElectricitySales, revenue and prices, power plants, fuel use, stocks, generation, trade, demand & emissions. Consumption & EfficiencyEnergy use in homes, commercial buildings, manufacturing, and transportation. CoalReserves, production, prices, employ- ment and productivity, distribution, stocks, imports and exports.
Renewable &Alternative FuelsIncludes hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and ethanol. Total EnergyComprehensive data summaries, comparisons, analysis, and projections integrated across all energy sources. Analysis & ProjectionsMonthly and yearly energy forecasts, analysis of energy topics, financial analysis, Congressional reports. Markets & FinanceFinancial market analysis and financial data for major energy companies. InternationalInternational energy information, including overviews, rankings, data, and analyses. The major energy sources in the United States are petroleum (oil), natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable energy. To compare or aggregate energy consumption across different energy sources like oil, natural gas, and electricity, we must use a common unit of measure. Natural gas has been an important exception to the trend of rising prices for energy sources used by manufacturers.
Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010 (Figure 1), according to new 2010 MECS data. Global decarbonization scenarios depend on a wide range of energy intensity improvement rates.
Several scenarios which rely heavily on renewable energy and exclude other technologies from consideration (i.e. Policy making has only limited influence over the mechanisms behind changes in energy intensity. Driving global emissions down while economic prosperity expands and demand for energy services grows requires an unprecedented acceleration in the decarbonization of the global economy (Kaya, 1989). Figures 2 and 3 compare the sustained rates in primary and final energy intensity improvements called for in these representative decarbonization scenarios with historical changes in energy intensity (presented as five-year rolling averages). Compared to these historical rates, even the decarbonization scenarios envisioning the least aggressive cuts in energy usage (“Group 1” in the Figures 2 and 3) depend on sustaining energy intensity declines at rates matching the most rapid declines seen over the last 40 years and much faster than the average energy intensity improvement rate over the last decade.

Furthermore, final energy intensity improvement would need to progress at up to six times the average rate experienced from 2000-2012 while primary energy intensity gains would need to see a twelve-fold acceleration (see Figure 4). Improvements in end-use energy efficiency, or the amount of final energy inputs needed to deliver a given energy service, such as heating, cooling, transportation, or industrial process energy inputs. All of these processes contribute to reductions in the amount of energy necessary to support a given amount of economic activity. As Figure 5 illustrates, primary to final conversion intensity has been gradually worsening over the past four decades, with more and more primary energy required to produce a given quantity of useful final energy. Going forward, a substantial transition from fossil-fueled power stations to nuclear and renewable electricity or an increase in the use of combined heat and power plants could help reverse this trend. Finally, end-use energy efficiency is the frequent focus of climate and energy policy making. In sum, after factoring in all of the mechanisms behind historical energy intensity improvement rates, it is difficult to find the policy “signal” in these “noisy” trends. After an initial examination of Figures 4 above, for example, one might easily conclude that accelerating final energy intensity to the rates envisioned by Group 1 decarbonization scenarios is trivial and the much faster rates envisioned by Group 4 scenarios could be accomplished with “only” a doubling or tripling of historical rates. In conclusion, energy intensity improvements must play a critical role in efforts to decarbonize the global economy. Jesse JenkinsJesse is a researcher, consultant, and writer with ten years of experience in the energy sector and expertise in electric power systems, electricity regulation, energy and climate change policy, and innovation policy. How Nature, or the species that is responsible for the buildup of those greenhouse gases, distribute that heat will determine the sustainability of all life on this planet. They use the analogy of deep pockets for a system with high specific heat capacity like water and state that, “A system with deep pockets will not increase temperature as much for a given injection of energy. In essence they are not spreading the energy internally and soaking up enough of the energy being injected into the biosphere to keep us safe. This can be overcome with heat pipe OTEC designs, which rather than reducing the amount of energy necessary to support a given amount of economic activity would produce increaslingly more climate benefit with every additional unit of energy produced.
Realistically, raising that index is going to involve more economic growth, and require greater amounts of energy. Going forward, a substantial transition from fossil-fueled power stations to nuclear and renewable electricity or an increase in the use of combined heat and power plants could help reverse this trend [declining primary to final conversion intensity].
If all large buildings improved to the 75th percentile, the potential savings would be around 31 percent for energy and 33 percent for greenhouse gases.
The report says that targeting this sector for energy reductions makes strategic sense, as offices use so much energy in relatively few buildings. The law mandates that all privately-owned properties with individual buildings over 50,000 square feet or multiple buildings with a combined square footage over 100,000 square feet annually measure and report their energy and water use. We may use a lot of energy, but we produce a lot of goods, our intensity of energy use is lower than most.
The inevitable result is that multinational companies will go offshore for energy intensive projects.
We are below average, and I mean that in the best possible way … compared to the average for all the countries. Australia exported merchandise (does not include services) to the tune of $231 billion in 2010, over $102 billion of which came from WA.
We export predominantly ores, metal, energy fuels and agricultural goods (iron ore $49b, coal $43b, gold $14b, petroleum $10b, natural gas $9b, etc). It becomes clear, after looking at the disaggregated manufacturing industry graphs that Australia predominantly exports energy intensive goods, but imports predominantly goods that are less energy intensive.
So when politicians seek to penalize us for our energy consumption, you must first have them stare these facts in the face and admit that much of this energy consumption is by proxy for consumers in other countries … not so much for our benefit. According to the Scottish National Party government, Scotland’s future will be full of new jobs based on clean energy; 130,000 of them over the next nine years. Can’t hurt to attack this on the policy front, because there are plenty of people who still believe the IPCC dogma. Energy Information Administration, Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) 1998-2010, September 6, 2013.
Energy Information Administration, Manufacturing Energy Consumption Data Show Large Reductions in Both Manufacturing Energy Use and the Energy Intensity of Manufacturing Activity between 2002 and 2010, March 19, 2013. Energy Information Administration, First Estimates from 2010 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey, March 28, 2012.
The major users are residential and commercial buildings, industry, transportation, and electric power generators.
This is similar to calculating your food energy intake by adding up the calories in whatever you eat.
Production of natural gas in the United States increased rapidly beginning in 2007 as a result of resources found in shale formations. Further research is needed to carefully unpack the mechanisms behind historical rates of change in energy intensity in order to benchmark global decarbonization strategies. These deep cuts in emissions must be achieved against a backdrop of growing global population and significant projected increases in demand for energy and energy-related services. Regardless of which measure is used, published global decarbonization scenarios consistent with stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at the equivalent of 430-480 parts per million of CO2 all require dramatically accelerating the annual average rate of energy intensity improvement. On the other hand, electrification of heating, cooling, or cooking could reduce primary to final energy intensity, as using fuels to produce heat directly is typically more efficient than converting primary energy first to electricity and then to heat. On the one hand, decarbonization efforts can safely count on continued help from these autonomous efficiency improvements. Only a fraction of the overall final energy intensity improvement rates seen historically have anything to do with the wide range of end-use energy efficiency or climate policies pursued by a variety of nations over the past four decades. Yet consider a speculative case where energy and climate policy efforts have influence over factors accounting for just one third of the historical energy intensity improvement rates experienced over recent decades. Global decarbonization scenarios depend on a wide range of energy intensity improvement rates, some of which entail a dramatic acceleration compared to historical rates of improvement. Impact of carbon dioxide emission control on GNP growth: interpretation of proposed scenarios.
Retail spaces in that sector’s 95th percentile use almost eight times as much energy per square foot than those in the 5th percentile.
As large buildings currently account for 45 percent of the city’s carbon emissions, these improvements would translate into a city-wide emissions reduction of 9 percent and 15 percent respectively. Targeting efficiency in the residential sector would be more problematic because the buildings are so numerous – 80 percent of the total number of buildings surveyed. Through benchmarking and measurement New York City hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Australia’s per capita agricultural emissions are among the highest in the world, especially because of the large numbers of sheep and cattle.

So, not only are we below average when it comes to energy consumption relative to GDP generation, but much of that energy ends up going overseas, as demonstrated previously.
We import mostly highly manufactured items, with petroleum being the main exception (petroleum $16b, cars $16b, petroleum oils $10b, medicaments $8b, telecoms equipment $8b, gold $7b etc).
In other words we send a lot of energy overseas congealed into other forms such as aluminium metal, copper, LNG etc. Robert Scott estimates that 2.4 million US jobs were lost to China between 2001 and 2008 (Economic Policy Institute, March 2010).
The government of Greenland (appropriately I suppose) promises hydropower as a “good and green export commodity”; though, to the chagrin of Greenpeace, drilling for oil sort of blackens their outlook.
Old jobs will be destroyed in the West and people left behind, and painful adjustments required, because of self-inflicted harm based on tendentious computer predictions of the weather.
Steel is the material of choice for many elements of construction, transportation, manufacturing, and a variety of consumer products.
That increase in supply has in turn lowered the price of natural gas to manufacturers as well as other consumers. This decline continues the downward trend in manufacturing energy use since the 1998 MECS report. Indeed, the rates envisioned in these scenarios stand in marked contrast with the historical rate of progress in energy intensity.
Likewise, Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2014) presents a range of potential decarbonization strategies which rely on different combinations of energy intensity improvements and decarbonization of energy supplies (see Figure 1). Consecutive dots represent 10-year time steps starting in 2010 at the origin and going out to 2100.
Likewise, installation of carbon capture and storage at fossil-fueled power stations would reduce the efficiency of these plants, increasing the primary to final energy intensity of electricity generation.
Indeed, actors in the global economy are constantly pursuing efforts to improve the productivity of inputs to production, energy included. Some portion of historical final energy intensity improvement rates are likely to continue into the future, irrespective of climate policy.
How large a lever then do policy makers hold as they seek to accelerate energy intensity improvements?
As policy making has only limited influence over the mechanisms behind changes in energy intensity, critical attention should be paid to the ability of policy to accelerate energy intensity improvements.
Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Asymmetric substitutability between energy and capital: Evidence from the manufacturing sectors in 10 OECD countries. A critical review of global decarbonization scenarios: what do they tell us about feasibility? Energy intensity developments in 40 major economies: Structural change or technology improvement? In other words, if we push high energy manufacturing into China, it will use more energy to get the same product, and so produce more greenhouse gas in the process. If it wasn’t for WA we’d be running a massive trade deficit in Australia, instead we have a decent-sized trade surplus. I had nearly forgotten Ms Gillard who recently wrote that we “want to stay in step with the world so we can capitalise on the clean-energy jobs that come with this new future”. Figures 2 and 3 show the range of energy intensity rates consistent with both “Group 1” scenarios, which all foresee sustained growth in global energy demand, and “Group 4” scenarios, which envision absolute declines in global energy use due to efficiency improvements. In short, the impact of decarbonization policies on primary to final energy conversion could be mixed, and in any case, has more to do with supply-side energy policies than the end-use efficiency policies typically associated with improvements in energy intensity. In short, we have a basic economic incentive to progressively squeeze more and more GDP out of a unit of energy, all else equal.
On the other hand, the ability of policies to affect the rate of energy efficiency improvement is correspondingly diminished to the extent that much improvement is already “baked in” to business-as-usual trends and cannot be counted twice (Pielke, Wigley & Green, 2008).
The relative importance of mechanisms over which policy has influence thus dramatically changes the outlook on the feasibility of scenarios envisioning rapid energy intensity improvements. Further research should carefully unpack the mechanisms behind historical rates of change in energy intensity to further benchmark and calibrate global decarbonization strategies. Calculating economy-wide energy intensity decline rate: The role of sectoral output and energy shares.
Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
World Happiness Index or the OECD Better Life Index as our goal, and see which paths which might lead there (people who consume more are not necessarily better off than those with better health, or people who are better educated).
However, the probability of success and the timescale for realization of these technologies is highly uncertain. One thing it means is that that the production of any particular product tends to be concentrated; not evenly spread throughout the world. French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recently predicted that France would generate 600,000 green jobs by 2020. Most grades of steel used today - particularly high-strength steels that are lighter and more versatile - were not available a decade ago.
As such, there is a long-term trend of improvement in the energy intensity of end-use economic activities, irrespective of energy policies (IPCC, 2014). Indeed, further research to decompose the mechanisms behind global energy intensity trends and identify those factors over which policy measures have influence could be of critical importance to designing effective decarbonization strategies. The economic stability and national security of the United States over the coming decades cannot be secured by assuming optimistically that these new technologies will succeed in time to avoid a major discontinuity in the supply of oil and gas from foreign and potentially hostile sources. Way back in 1817, English economist, David Ricardo explained it by showing that products tend to be made where they can be made comparatively cheaply. They even have people like Greg Combet complimenting them on their emission-saving efforts, while they pump ever increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and sell us, and everyone else, solar panels and windmill parts made using energy from coal that we supply. Share of historical and future trends due to mechanisms exogenous to or influenced by policy speculative and depicted for illustrative example only. For example, it turned out that ships could be built faster and more cheaply in Japan than on Merseyside. This represents a powerful economic force that in the end result simply can’t be resisted; except, apparently, when it comes to green jobs.

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