Sustainability challenge and related SDGs:
Despite slowing growth, global energy consumption continues to increase by 1-2% per year. Unless this will be met by increases in #EnergyEfficiency across all sectors, global energy consumption will continue to rise every year.
It is nearly impossible to produce, transport, or consume energy without significantly impacting the environment. This is because most energy is still derived from fossil fuels. Air pollutants from burning fossil fuels are the main cause of air pollution in cities. Furthermore, man-made climate crisis is mainly caused by greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion. Other problems include water and soil pollution from oil spills or petroleum handling. Fossil fuels are not only oil and gas, but also coal. Even today, large portions of the ground are removed to extract the coal underneath. These mining operations can alter the flow of groundwater and bring otherwise unpolluted water into contact with minerals, which may result in acid mine drainage.
To avoid these environmental and health impacts, the growth of energy consumption must be halted and turned around. Contributing to #EnergyEfficiency leads directly to achieving SDG 7 "Affordable and clean energy" and SDG 13 "Climate Action".
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
The key to reducing globally growing energy demand is #EnergyEfficiency. This can be done in any area of business or personal life. Electrical appliances, for example, can be very power-hungry. At home, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, the oven and, of course, the computer need electricity to function. Certificates like Energy Star identify appliances that are more #EnergyEfficient than their competitors. Of course, this also applies to most power-hungry appliances, which are used either for heating (of air or water) or cooling (air conditioners, for example).
A growing number of companies is working on efficient IT and computer technology. On the one hand, hardware is being developed to reduce energy consumption; on the other hand, software can be improved so that it uses less computing power and thus fewer resources. Finally, there is also software that improves the energy balance of other devices, for example, by intelligently switching them on and off.
Not to be forgotten are LEDs, which are used for lighting (e.g. street lighting) or display (e.g. the status of a device). LEDs consume up to 90% less energy than conventional light bulbs.
Finally, almost every industrial process can benefit from #EnergyEfficiency. Prominent examples are chemical catalysts or energy recovery products.
Primarily related SDG Targets: 7.1, 7.3, 13.2
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
#EnergyEfficiency as a topic will accompany us for a long time. More efficient products initially appear more expensive, but after a certain time they save money because they save energy. Therefore, industrial processes, household appliances and infrastructure will always become more energy efficient, especially from an economic point of view. Demand for such solutions will remain high and perhaps even increase as companies continue to research more efficient methods.
National and international regulations for #EnergyEfficiency have increased and will continue to do so. With the climate crisis looming, every little bit more #EnergyEfficiency is also in the interest of international efforts to transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a renewable energy-based circular economy.