Panel Discussion on Energy Efficiency
The session on energy efficiency had no formal presentations and was organized as a panel discussion with four panelists. It was concluded that energy efficiency and saving measures on the short term is the most effective way to contribute to a sustainable energy system. Measures to improve and encourage energy efficiency should be implemented at all levels; municipal/local, national and super-national. Prices can be an effective instrument but need to be combined with systemic level measures. The transport sector was identified as the one with largest near future potential for increased energy efficiency. Agriculture and food is also an area with very large energy consumption and large potential for increased energy efficiency. The global population issue is yet another relevant, challenging and complex issue. It was noted that energy audits for end users in business and society increase awareness and insights into what they pay for, and they are likely to promote actions to save energy. Many measures are believed to suffer from Jevin’s paradox, i.e., that more efficient use of energy just leads to more energy consumption somewhere else. Many examples were given, however, where this does not happen. Another point put forward was that measures to make the energy system more efficient do not only mean constraints and regulations but also create great opportunities for market actors and societies.