What Countries Are The Most Energy Efficient?

As global energy use rises, some nations are ramping up their energy efficiency. So which countries use the least amount of energy?

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The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently ranked the world's 16 largest economies by energy efficiency. The group took a variety of factors into account, including each country's national energy savings goals, vehicle fuel economy standards, and total energy consumed per square foot of floor space. Germany ranked quite well, largely due to the country's ambitious plans to drastically reduce both industrial and consumer reliance on fossil fuels. Italy also scored quite well, largely due to the country's much-used rail system. China scored highest in terms of residential construction efficiency. Ultimately, though, the true test of these countries will take place in the years to come. Renewable, sustainable energy models are clearly the way of the future and, in time, we will see if countries stick to their ambitious plans.

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"Lack of access to electricity and modern energy sources profoundly limits economic development, constrains people's life chances and traps millions in extreme poverty."

IEA: Global energy use to spike 30 percent by 2040 (aljazeera.com)
"Global energy use will shoot up 30 percent over the next 25 years, driven primarily by growing demand in emerging economies, a report released on Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said."

The 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (aceee.org)
"A country that uses less energy to achieve the same or better results reduces its costs and pollution, creating a stronger, more competitive economy."

Bringing China's Energy Efficiency Experience to the World: Knowledge Exchange with Asian Countries (worldbank.org)
"China has successfully decoupled energy consumption and emissions from economic growth. From 1980 to 2010, while China's economy increased 18-fold, energy consumption increased only 5-fold."

Germany leads record wind power growth in Europe (theguardian.com)
"The report reveals Germany was by far the biggest market last year, installing nearly half of new wind farms in the EU."