Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series: France

Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases a list of the top 23 most energy-efficient countries. Rankings are based on energy-efficiency for buildings, industry, national, and transportation efforts to reduce energy usage. Each country earns their spot according to accumulated efforts over the previous year.

 

France has been ranked at number four. Here’s a look at a few highlights.

 

 

Energy-Efficient Buildings

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - Energy-Efficient BuildingsFrance’s rank is largely due to the efforts in renovating its buildings to become more energy-efficient. According to the country’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan created in 2014, there are aggressive policies in place to increase the number of low-energy buildings around the country. These policies also include renovating about 500,000 buildings per year to meet the new energy-saving standards for industrial edifices across France.

 

 

National and Transportation Efforts

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - National and Transportation EffortsFrance scored high in the national and transportation efforts due to its involvement with the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive. Under this directive, France has committed to reduce its national energy consumption by at least 17 percent by the year 2020. The country is also involved in the European Union Automotive Fuel Economy Policy. This policy sets a fuel standard of receiving up to 56.9 mpg by the year 2025.

 

 

Areas to Improve

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - Areas to ImproveWhile France has exuded many efforts to increase the overall energy savings of the country, there is always room for improvement. Based on the ACEEE’s assessment, France has a “low percentage of installed capacity from CHP (Combined Heat and Power)”. CHP must be increased and new incentives and targets must be in place in order to improve the industrial area. As far as transportation, the ACEEE has deemed that France should invest in more rails rather than roads. This would increase the efficiency of freight transportation which reduces the energy intensity of the country’s transportation system as a whole.

   

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series: The United Kingdom

Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases a list of the top 23 most energy-efficient countries. Rankings are based on energy-efficiency for buildings, industry, transportation, and national efforts to reduce energy usage. Each country earns their spot according to accumulated efforts over the previous year.

 

The United Kingdom was ranked at number five. Here’s a look at a few highlights.

 

 

UK’s Mission

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series The United Kingdom - In Text Image - UK's MissionThe UK government plans to connect energy-efficient knowledge and technologies to finance, making strong returns on power savings. With those savings, the government intends to promote and fund efficiency innovation. The UK feels that it’s important for households and businesses to save money on fuel bills and create a more sustainable and secure energy system.

 

 

Government Intervention

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series The United Kingdom - In Text Image - Government's InterventionEnergy and Climate Secretary, Amber Rudd, has spoken out and revealed her policy priorities to come in 2017. She explained that the UK has already implemented an electricity system where no form of power generation, even gas-fired power stations, can be built without government intervention. For 2017, she intends to reduce the use of fossil fuels and replace coal-fired power stations with gas.

 

 

However, Some Things Could Be Improved…

 

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series The United Kingdom - In Text Image - Funding CutsThe United Kingdom fell behind countries like Germany, Italy, Japan, and France because the government cut off certain funds. According to this report, the UK government cut funds to various policies. There was a 33 percent cut to the Energy Efficiency Obligations target in 2014, a 20 percent cut to future Energy Efficiency Obligations spending in 2015, and a complete cancellation and pull of government backing from the Green Deal. The report explains that while the UK has some good policies in place, they were much stronger in the past.