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United States, China, and Russia Lead the Global Economic Energy Efficiency Ranking

The Performances between Advanced Economies and Emerging and Developing Economies in Economic Energy Efficiency are Well-Matched

The Economic Energy Efficiency Ranking of Taiwan Has Fallen 4 Places and Lags Far Behind the Ranking for Korea

Based on the Global Economic Energy Efficiency Ranking (the base year is 2005 and the latest global updated data is 2009), published by the Triple-E Institute and Department of Economics, Chinese Culture University, prior to Earth Day 2012, the global economic energy efficiency in 2009 has improved 6.03% in total compared to the base year of 2005. Professor Yunchang Jeffery Bor, President of the Triple-E Institute and Head of the Department of Economics, Chinese Culture University, has indicated that there are 85 countries that have made a positive contribution to the world’s economic energy efficiency and 44 countries have had a negative effect on the world’s economic energy efficiency. Among 129 countries, the United States is ranked in first place; China is in second place followed by Russia, Germany, and Ukraine. Global ranking can be found in http://www.triple-e.org.tw/.

Energy has become a critical necessity to economic development and modern living standards since the industrial revolution beginning from 1975. However, the earth’s limited supply of fossil fuel is eventually going to be depleted. A shortage of energy resources and rapid economic growth push energy prices sky high again and again. Therefore, how to use energy resources efficiently has become one of the most important topics in the world. Energy efficiency can lessen the impact of high energy prices, improve energy security, and mitigate the global warming problem on mother earth. Improving energy efficiency is also the most cost-effective, ready-to-go and no-regrets strategy.

Based on the classification of International Monetary Fund, the Advanced Economies have made considerable effort in improving economic energy efficiency of 3.37% since the Kyoto Protocol came into effect on February 16, 2005. On the other hand, economic energy efficiency goes up by 2.65% for Emerging and Developing Economies, which is also a remarkable outcome in 2009. India is the worst in the world in 2009 and the major cause is the inefficiency of energy use in the agricultural and service sectors. Another bad example is the United Arab Emirates. The wastage and poor performance of energy use in the manufacturing sector makes its economic energy efficiency the second worst in the world.

The leading country in North America is the United States that contributed 1.59% to economic energy efficiency. The United States has tried hard to switch from being an energy waste country in the 1990s to becoming the top ranking country in the world. The economic potential and technological strength of the United States cannot be ignored by the world. Germany is the leading country in Europe with a contribution of 0.32%. The practice of either energy saving or new energy developing in Germany is always highly acknowledged by the world. In the Asian region, the new leading country is Korea (ranking in 7th position), with a contribution of 0.19%, because Japan has fallen sharply in terms of economic energy efficiency in 2009. The major reason for the low performance (ranking in 40th position) in Japan is not because of energy wastage but because of the severe reduction in economic growth due to the financial crisis in 2009. Nevertheless, the recent economic energy efficiency performance of Korea is strong and stable, and serves as a good example and mirror for Taiwan as well as other Asian countries.

The performance of Taiwan is not so impressive, it being ranked in 16th position (down 4 places compared to 2008). The major reason is the inefficiency in energy use of chemical material manufacturing. Other energy intensive industries, such as non-metallic mineral products, basic metals, paper, textile mills, and plastic products are all worse in terms of economic energy efficiency from 2008 to 2009. Among them, chemical material manufacturing is the critical industry that had a big and negative impact on Taiwan’s economic energy efficiency. There are several measures that can solve this problem: (1) eliminate or phase out old factories; (2) move the production chain to low-cost bases located abroad; (3) conduct a full-scale energy audit and trace the factors for the inefficient use of energy; (4) replace the old technology; and (5) promote high value-added production and products. All of the above measures can interact together without difficulty and are also good for any low-performance industry. The key issue is to stop the economic energy efficiency being downgraded and pursue sustainable development in Taiwan.



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