As part of the energy week , Jim Sweeney, Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University will be giving a public lecture in Wellington.
Throughout the world energy efficiency has been the single most important factor for limiting carbon dioxide emissions from growing economies and for increasing energy security. Energy efficiency has been quantitatively far more important than the combination of wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, and natural gas, all taken together. And energy efficiency has multiple benefits for countries such as the United States and New Zealand, as illustrated by three questions asked and answered by Secretary George Shultz: “What is the cleanest energy around? The energy that is not used. What is the least expensive energy around? The energy that is not used. What is the most secure energy around? The energy that is not used.”
Drawing from his book to be published August 1, Sweeney discusses why energy efficiency has been so successful in bringing numerous economic, environmental, and security benefits to the United States – in spite of the many barriers that inhibit full implementation of energy efficient actions. Many of these lessons are directly relevant to New Zealand, whose trajectory of energy intensity reductions has been remarkably similar to the United States, at least since 1990.