According to a scorecard released by the American Council of Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Germany is number one when it comes to energy efficiency while the United States ranks poorly. 16 nations were studied, and of the top 10, six were in Europe. Canada was the only country from North America to make it on the top 10. The executive director of ACEEE stated that Germany is the leading example of a country that has placed a priority on energy efficiency and sustainability.
He continued to describe that the United States, which has in history garnered a reputation of being the leaders in innovation, has not improved much since the last report, even as Italy, Germany, China, and other nations have made immense progress. The study praised Germany’s expansive energy strategy and awarded the nation maximum points for its retrofit policies, loan and tax credit policies, and building codes. An energy expert at Germany trade and invest, Henning Ellerman, stated that his government encourages developments in energy efficiency which is why they have become a leader market in the field.
Observers had compared the incentive programs evident in the United States and noted that there are not nearly as many benefits for innovators of energy efficient technology, and they have more opposition from lobbyists from gas and oil companies. The ACEEE report displayed a 20 percent reduction from non-renewable resources.
Ellerman stated that despite the good news, the energy efficiency sector of his country still has a lot of work to do, and there are still untapped reservoirs of energy efficiency in the country. Ellerman has been a chief contributor to Germany’s rank as the number one in energy efficiency by providing companies the resources to start their business in the country. The United States counterparts of Ellerman have not met much success and frustrated entrepreneurs in energy efficiency state that it is because they are poorly funded.
The European Union intends on establishing a near zero energy standard for all new buildings soon. The conductors of the study criticized the United States by saying that they were “inefficient” in energy efficiency, and have provided limited progress in these fields. They posed the question, how can the U.S. compete in a global economy if it continues to waste energy and money that other nations are saving an reinvesting.
United States congressman Peter Welch from Vermont displayed his dissatisfaction by responding that there is no reason for the United States to be lagging behind other countries in energy efficiency. The United States has continuously been the leading consumer of energy and resources. However, new voices in the industry might be invoking change within the country. For example, notable CEO of various trend-setting companies, Elon Musk, recently proposed plans to make the world’s biggest solar panel field in New York with SolarCity. Also, if his signature Tesla Motors become accepted into the mainstream, observers have noted that inhabitants in the United States can continue to drive their cars without having to utilize nearly as many resources.
By Andres Loubriel