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Energy efficiency 'great for the UK'

The UK would receive a significant jobs and GDP boost if it were able to succeed in reducing its energy consumption by 40 per cent by 2030.

That's according to new figures published by Cambridge Econometrics, following the group's study into the possible ramifications of a range of energy-saving scenarios over the coming years.

While a 40 per cent cut would result in £62 billion more being added to GDP and the creation of 40,000 new jobs, a 30 per cent reduction would see an estimated £17.3 billion in economic growth, along with an extra 13,000 jobs.

The predictions associated with the higher level will certainly add fuel to the fire being fanned by those calling for a more ambitious binding target to be set by officials in the European Union.

Earlier this year, the EU set out proposals for its member states to aim towards using 30 per cent less energy, which critics said was a missed opportunity. This is now being backed up by the Cambridge Econometrics report, given that the GDP gains for a 40 per cent drop are triple the amount of the knock-on effect of achieving a 30 per cent reduction.

Friends of the Earth spokesman Brook Riley told the Guardian:  “The benefits of energy efficiency are impressive and we need to be ambitious. It is significant that the countries which were hardest hit by the financial crisis … are among the strongest advocates of going as far as we can."

However, one potential stumbling block in convincing countries to increase their ambitions in this area is the cost, with the UK reportedly among a group of EU members that are reluctant to invest more money in this area without any concrete support that they will see greater financial benefits.

That said, this latest study could be exactly what is needed to turn their argument around and create renewed focus on an energy efficient future.

Posted by Simon Webster