World Bank book with alarming figures for the developing world: “Financing Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Brazil, China, India, and Beyond”


The World Bank has recently published a book that might be interesting to fellow CleanTechies. “Financing Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Brazil, China, India, and Beyond” says that aforementioned countries will more than double their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within a single generation if they fail to implement successful energy efficiency efforts. Given the increasing energy demand from these three developing nations at a time of skyrocketing worldwide energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions, there should be a general interest to reduce energy consumption in these countries.

Alarming figures

China, India and Brazil are three of the world’s top 10 energy consumers. Together these countries are expected to represent 40% of the world’s population and be responsible for well over 50% of all energy demand by developing countries. By 2030, they are expected to account for 42% of growth in energy demand worldwide.

Bob Taylor, a World Bank energy economist, explains his and the other authors’ approach in writing this book: “We dissected the energy efficiency terrain through this study to find out why it’s so hard to get the right incentives in place so that more investment can happen. What we found is enormous untapped potential – especially in Brazil, China and India – but plenty of good solutions that can work as long as the financing and investment environment is in place and there’s plenty of commitment from policy makers.”

Need for action

According to the authors, energy efficiency is critical in these countries “for reasons of energy supply security, economic competitiveness, improvement in livelihoods, and environmental sustainability.” While they see gradual improvement in the three countries, “when you think about the sort of energy demand of even one of these countries in the next decade, the need for action and much faster progress is very clear,” says Taylor.

The authors conclude that implementing energy efficiency projects could – to a certain extent – be cheaper than providing new supplies. However, the development and financing of energy efficiency projects would be impeded by weak economic institutions in these developing and transitional economies. The authors analyze these difficulties, suggest a 3-part model for planning and financing energy efficiency retrofits and present thirteen case studies to illustrate the issues and principles involved.

What’s your opinion?

@ those who read the book: How did you like it?

@ all of you: How do you evaluate the situation in developing nations like Brazil, China and India? From your experience, what are the key barriers to more energy efficiency in these countries? In your opinion, what kind of steps are feasible to curb energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in developing nations? Do you agree with the authors that energy efficiency projects can be less costly than new supply?

The Book

Robert P. Taylor , Chandrasekar Govindarajalu , Jeremy Levin , Anke S. Meyer , William A. Ward, “Financing Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Brazil, China, India, and Beyond”; The World Bank (February 2008).

The book is available for a free download or as a hard copy through the World Bank’s Infoshop.


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